Officials in Blair County launched a new app on Tuesday designed to help save lives.
Columbia Protocol gives people instant access to a list of questions that caan help someone contemplating suicide.
The county is the first in the country to develop a smartphone app that uses the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale, as well as contact information for local crisis centers.
The Executive Director of Blair County Social Services, Jim Hudack, said over the past three years, the county has seen a 64 percent increase in suicide rates.
“It is our intent to try to create mechanisms to prevent this from happening. We have a very strong and vital suicide prevention task force in Blair County, and they’re working with the initial development of the columbia suicide assessment, and we’ve just taken it to the next step of developing a phone app for it,” Hudack said.
The app is available for iPhone and Android, and it’s free of charge.