Leicester pioneers use of R;pple in commitment to suicide prevention

The University of Leicester has today (Monday) become one of the first universities in the country to install R;pple across all its computer networks and strengthening its commitment to suicide prevention.

All staff and student accounts and computers using the University’s computer network will be updated with the new browser extension, which will automatically intercept content from harmful searches relating to self-harm and suicide.

Upon searching for harmful content, the user will be automatically directed to R;pple, where they will be offered support and provided with mental health resources.

R;pple was founded by Alice Hendy after losing her sibling, Josh, to suicide at 21 years old. Josh had been researching techniques to take his own life through harmful internet searches.

Geoff Green, Registrar and Secretary at the University of Leicester said: “We have taken an important step forward in introducing R;pple across our University computers and networks, by strengthening our work to ensure we are making suicide prevention a priority.

“We are one of the first universities in the country to introduce R;pple. It will ensure that help and support are given to individuals looking for harmful content online.

“The University is extremely grateful to R;pple for working with us so closely to ensure we are leading implementation of this within the higher education sector.”

The University of Leicester has already pledged to make preventing suicide a priority, following Universities UK guidance on suicide safer universities, and already implements a variety of mental health support and resources to look after its staff and students, including student mental health disclosure training for frontline staff, and student mental health advisers. It works collaboratively with the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Suicide Prevention Group, a local universities suicide prevention group, the NHS and the police to ensure a joined up approach to supporting anyone from the university community who is in crisis.

Staff and students with concerns around their wellbeing can seek support through the Report and Support service, where each enquiry received is investigated by trained staff and appropriate support provided.

The SafeZone app also allows students and staff to immediately get through to the security team in an emergency. Student support is also available for finance and academic help, stresses which can affect mental health, via internal and external counselling and talking therapy programmes, such as Togetherall and Health Assured, as well as crisis support via the NHS Central Access Point.