I recently came across an article that highlighted the need for our mobile devices to provide better mental health and emergency situation support for those in need. I put these insights to the test, and posed a series of questions to Siri, to see what her response would be.
I told Siri I wanted to commit suicide. At first glance it looks like she provides me with relevant information for a suicide hotline, but when I clicked on the link provided it was a Wikipedia page for an electronica music EP. Shocking.
I then told Siri that my husband hit me, and asked her what I should do. She didn’t understand the question.
Lastly, I confided in Siri that I was depressed. She comforted me (I guess?) but did not provide any resources for further help.
So why does all of this matter? Why should a phone be expected to have resources for people in dangerous and isolating situations? Because often times people dealing with these issues have no one to turn to. They feel scared, embarrassed, or cut off from the world. Being able to confide in ‘someone’ you know won’t judge you or tell your secret could help save a life.
Mobile platforms need to realize the life altering potential these devices and programs can have on someone in need. Having a resource in the palm of our hands is only as good as we make it.
One local Calgary company is attempting to do their part in providing a safe place for people to talk about mental health issues. FoveoCare is a brand new app designed to connect people with the mental health support they need in an anonymous environment. It also creates a group space where people can share their challenges and success stories to help and inspire others.
While we applaud FoveoCare for creating such a wonderful platform for people struggling with mental illness, and know many people are going to benefit from its ingenuity, we also hope that the big players make some much needed changes to the core of their mobile personalities.
If you are contemplating suicide please click here to find a crisis centre close to you.
To download FoveoCare please search the Google Play Store.