Ripple is a unique browser extension that intercepts searches for harmful material online, and instead directs users to mental health resources. Sadly, the founders identified that this was a problem requiring a solution through their own lived experience, when their brother and son took his own life in November 2020. When they got Josh’s mobile phone and laptop back from the police, they discovered that he had been exploring ways to take his own life.
Ripple is a digital tool, which if a user searches for harmful content online, they will first be guided through a filter of breathing exercises and then very simple, uncluttered and calmly presented strategies and forums, helplines and mental health services they can access both now and longer-term: accompanied with messages of hope and encouragement to keep them safe.
Ripple is loaded with 35,000 words relating to self-harm or suicide.
Since officially launching free of charge across the UK in September 2021, in six months Ripple had been downloaded over 300,000 times and intercepted over 1,900 harmful online searches. Some 24 individuals have approached Ripple to say that the tool intercepting them online at their most vulnerable point had saved their life and that they are now receiving mental health support.
The charity’s next objective is to make Ripple available on mobile phones and tablets as well as desktop devices and laptops. It is also looking to develop it beyond the UK.
Charity Awards judge Kris Murali said: “Ripple is such an innovative product, and replicable at the same time.”
Martin Edwards said there was real scalability in the technology, in that it could be adapted for other types of devices, and could also potentially be used for other kinds of health and wellbeing causes. The development cost to date of just £12,000 was also very good value, he added.
CC Reg no. 1194331