AN INNOVATIVE app set up to provide support for those considering suicide has saved the lives of scores of people.

The award-winning Stay Alive has been downloaded about 6,000 times since its launch in Sussex a year ago.

It was developed by Brighton-based charity Grassroots Suicide Prevention in partnership with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The app’s users can access up-to-date resources, crisis support and interactive tools to support them in times of crisis.

As well as contact details for helplines and online resources, the app includes a Lifebox where users can upload pictures which remind them of reasons to stay alive, a list of reasons to live and a mini safety plan for times when they have thoughts of suicide.

Other features include a myth-busting section about suicide, research-based reasons for living and useful information and strategies for coping.

Ben, 22, from Brighton is one of those to downloaded the app.

He said: "A few months ago I found myself in a position where my thoughts of suicide were so strong and prominent that I needed immediate help to avoid another suicide attempt.

“In previous moments like this I have not known where to turn for help and have instead begun turning suicide plans into actions.

“Fortunately, when I was trying to think if there were options other than suicide open to me, I remembered the app and that it might help.

“I was able to immediately dial through to a helpline using the crisis resources within the app and they were able to support me and keep me safe in the short term, until further help could be reached. They were also able to help friends look after me.”

Grassroots director of communications Chris Brown said: “Different people find different types of support effective and the most important thing is to find what works for you and have it ready and waiting in times of crisis.

“Stay Alive has helped so many people like Ben, who find themselves struggling to cope with their thoughts of suicide and previously did not know where to turn to get the help they desperately need.”

Sussex Partnership director of nursing standards and safety, Emma Wadey, said: “Suicide is devastating for families and communities.

“We know that the app is already proving to be a valuable source of information and support, and we hope to see even more people downloading the app to help them prepare for times of crisis.

“As well as offering advice and resources for those in crisis, Stay Alive is aimed at people worried about a friend or loved one and anyone who has been bereaved by suicide.”

The app can be downloaded via iTunes or Google Play.