Operation Reach Out

Operation Reach Out is aimed at preventing suicide among military personnel and veterans. This app has two components, which can be accessed via the two options on the homepage; “I’m concerned about myself”, or “I’m concerned about someone else”. Each section has a number of short (10-30 second) videos of military personnel speaking about suicide. The difference between the two components is that videos in the “I’m concerned about myself” section are aimed directly at the user, whereas videos in the “I’m concerned about someone else” section advise friends, family members or colleagues on how to help someone in need. In the ‘Help Center’ section of the app, users can fill in the names and numbers of people they should reach out to in a crisis. The “Resources” section has a list of websites users can refer to, e.g. Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Centers of Disease Control, Military Family. The “Activities” section suggests activities that users can do with other people, e.g. “Join an online dating service”, “Get involved in your local block or neighborhood association”. Users can rate each activity by giving a thumbs up or thumbs down; those that are given a thumbs down will not appear again. Users are encouraged to do one activity every day.

Available for: Android; iOS 9.0 or later (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch)
Company Name: Military Community Awareness, Inc.
Classification (Type of Treatment): Informational
Targeted conditions: Mood Disorders; Depression; Suicidal Ideation
Target demographics: Adults (especially military personnel)
Special provider necessary: No
Languages available in: English
Where to get it:
Google Play

Expert ratings and reviews

PsyberGuide rating: The research and support basis of the product

Research base 0/3
Research support 1/2
Specificity of proposed intervention 3/3
Number of consumer ratings 1/3
Product advisory support 1/1
Software support 1/2

Total 7/14

date of rating:  July 2017

Explanation of the rating factors

MARS rating

Quality scores range from 1 to 5, where 5 is the maximum score

  Not yet available

Expert review

No information yet.

Research on the product

While this app is not backed by efficacy data, it does contain one of the evidence-based strategies for suicide-prevention apps as identified by Larsen et al.’s (2016); facilitating access to crisis support. Operation Reach Out also has a resource location features, highlighted by Luxton, June, and Chalker (2015) in their review of principal features of suicide prevention apps, i.e. assistance locating resources such as crisis support centers, medical facilities, or groups or individuals (e.g., peers, family members) who could assist and provide support.

  • Larsen, M. E., Nicholas, J., & Christensen, H. (2016). A Systematic Assessment of Smartphone Tools for Suicide Prevention. PLOS ONE, 11(4), e0152285. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152285
  • Luxton, D. D., June, J. D., & Chalker, S. A. (2015). Mobile Health Technologies for Suicide Prevention: Feature Review and Recommendations for Use in Clinical Care.

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