Suicide takes the lives of 40,000 people with severe mental illness every year, making it the most common form of violence associated with diseases like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Now Apple has an app for that.
Just weeks after we released our psychiatric crisis resources application for smartphones, Apple announced that the iPhone virtual assistant known as Siri will now provide suicide intervention information to users (“Siri is taking a new approach to suicide”, June 19).
We tried the app out. Siri first gave us suicide hotline numbers and offered to call one for us. When we said “No” to calling, she supplied us with the names of nearby suicide centers.
Our mobile app doesn’t talk, but it delivers critical information for dealing with psych crises, including tips for handling a suicide danger, each state’s standards for emergency hospitalization and who can petition for emergency treatment by state.