She couldn’t save her brother from suicide – but now her Tech skills are saving others.
Introducing our Women Making Waves Award Finalist Alice Hendy, CEO of R;pple Suicide Prevention
In November 2020, Alice lost her brother, Josh to suicide at the age of 21. When she examined the search history on his mobile phone and laptop, it was evident that Josh has been researching ways to end his life by visiting certain sites online.
It was after this personal tragedy and feeling the need to channel her grief into something positive, that Alice came up with the idea of R;pple. Using her IT background and network, she developed a browser extension which can be downloaded onto computers and laptops.
Researching the subject, it became clear that content available online following a harmful search is far too easily accessible and fails to provide an intervention between the search and results found.
This is where R;pple’s browser extension comes into play.
Once downloaded, if an individual is searching online for harmful material relating to self-harm or suicide, their search will be interrupted. Instead of reaching potentially harmful sites, the user will be presented with a message of hope followed by a short breathing exercise, before being signposted to one of the many mental health resources that can give them the help and hope.
Alice has secured support from large mental health charities, including CALM, YoungMinds, Grassroots, Hub of Hope and Jacob’s One Million Lives, who will all feature on the R;pple tool to signpost users to their support services.
Since its official launch in September 2021, R;pple has been downloaded over 600,000 times, been actively triggered by a legitimate searches over 3,000 times, and has so far saved 24 lives that R;pple have been made aware of.
Alice’s goal is for R;pple’s to reach a global audience and help prevent suicides on a larger scale.
Nothing like this was available to save Josh, but Alice has made it her mission to make sure that other sisters don’t wake up every day feeling the way she does.
To hear more of Alice’s story, join us at the Inspiring Women Awards lunch on 19th May 2023.