ORCHA Platform Helps Suicide Prevention Helpline to Recommend Apps


Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK. Papyrus is the national charity founded for the prevention of young suicide, providing confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person through its helpline, HOPELINE247. 

Aware that people search online to find support for their mental health, including searching for apps, Papyrus wanted to supply a digital resource following a call to HOPELINE247, and to have available for those who do not call. But the charity understood that although there are thousands of apps to choose from, the vast majority are not safe or secure with managing personal details. 


To identify the best apps across a range of challenges its service users face, and to create a platform that allows safe and secure distribution of the apps, Papyrus decided to work with the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps. 

Working closely with the Papyrus team, ORCHA delivered a Health App Library in Papyrus branding, featuring shortcuts to apps specifically selected to support the most common mental health challenges its users face. Papyrus built the Library into its website, so that all clients have a place where they can find trusted apps.  

Alongside this self-serve solution, ORCHA also delivered a solution that enables Papyrus’ HOPELINE247 staff to be able to quickly and easily find apps, and send to them securely by email or text to a caller whilst they are on the line. ORCHA gave the HOPELINE247 team training to ensure they felt comfortable with the system and the apps they would be recommending.  

The ORCHA customer success manager worked with the Papyrus project lead to create material and a plan to promote the service to young people who may be thinking about suicide, highlighting this vital new service.  


There are now 35 HOPELINE247 team members who are trained and recommending apps to the people they support, with 10% of these being the most active champions. 

Since launching, almost 20,000 people have accessed the service.  

To bring this impact to life, we share the story of one service user: 

A young person contacted HOPELINE247 and explained they were feeling suicidal. Following the loss of a grandparent, they felt like everything was getting too much and was self-harming in order to cope. They also shared that they often feel anxious in school. Having different interests to most of their peers, they feel isolated and as though they don’t fit in. 

The adviser explored this with the client, and reflected on why having different interests make us who we are, and suggested finding some local groups where people share those interests.  

The caller shared they would like this and agreed to consider sharing their thoughts of suicide and self-harm with their Mum as well. They also agreed that some further support would be helpful, but especially at night, as that is when their thoughts are more intrusive and they struggle to stay safe from suicide. 

Together, the caller and adviser created a HOPELINK safety plan which included a plan for the caller to keep safe from any plans for suicide, the reasons the caller does want to stay alive, some coping strategies and signposting.  

The adviser discussed with the caller how having some different apps on their phone that only they have access to and that they can also access on the go any time day or night might be helpful, the caller agreed. The adviser then explained to the caller that there are a lot of different apps out there, and that we have an resource called Orcha that is a safe way at finding a suitable app, the adviser put the link for Orcha in the safety plan for the caller to access. 

The caller shared they was able to stay safe and felt able to call us back should they need further help. 

Just over a month later, the caller phoned back as they wanted to disable their suicide plan. The adviser revisited the HOPELINK safety plan with them where they asked if the caller was able to have a look at some apps. The caller shared that they had and had found this resource helpful and had helped them to stay safe since the time of their last call with HOPELINE. 

Commenting on the project, Sophie Addison, HOPELINE247 Manager at PAPYRUS said: Young people use there phones a lot, so why not use there phones to save their lives, and with ORCHA that enables our service users to find a service that they can privately have on their phones, that they have access to pretty much all the time.”