A new mobile app is now available to help young people in Oxford County who are having thoughts about suicide, or who are looking for mental health or addiction services because of problems with substance use, gaming, gambling, or other issues.
Be Safe — a free mobile app created by young people for young people — connects young people with local mental health and addiction resources in their community. The app also guides users through the process of creating their own personal safety plan for when they are in crisis and offers other tools that help young people reach out safely. A paper pocket guide version is available for users to carry with them for “back up” access to their personal safety plan.
The Be Safe app can be downloaded now free of charge. It is available for Android on Google Play, for iOS from the Apple store, or by visiting www.besafeapp.ca.
Oxford County joins 25 other communities now using the Be Safe app. The app is being launched in Oxford County secondary schools starting this week, Mental Health Week, on the following days:
Monday, May 1: Glendale High School, Tillsonburg
Tuesday, May 2: College Avenue Secondary School, Woodstock
Wednesday, May 3: WCI (Woodstock Collegiate Institute), Woodstock & Fanshawe College, Woodstock/Oxford Regional Campus
Thursday, May 4: St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Woodstock
Friday, May 5: École secondaire catholique Notre-Dame, Woodstock
“Be Safe Oxford” Snapchat geofilters will also be available at the secondary school events this week to help raise awareness of this new service.
In Oxford County, the Be Safe app is sponsored by Community Employment Services with the support of Oxford County and the Suicide Prevention Oxford Leadership Coalition. It is being launched in Oxford County thanks to financial contributions from the Woodstock Rotary Club, the Woodstock-Oxford Rotary Club, and the Masons of Wilson North District.
Michelle Worsfold, Chair, Suicide Prevention Oxford Leadership Coalition / Director,
Mental Health Services and Patient Flow, Woodstock Hospital
“Given that this is Mental Health Week, it is a great opportunity for us to release a new app for
the youth in our community. Our mental health agency staff across Oxford county will be trained
on the use of the application to ensure that we are able to empower our youth to reach out and
be safe in our own community. Our youth matter.”
Jeff Surridge, CEO, Oxford Community Employment Services
“The Be Safe App was designed by Youth and Professionals in an effort to improve access to
and coordination of mental health services. Given the tremendous pressures young people in
Oxford are experiencing, we view this tool as an invaluable component of a multi-faceted,
holistic community approach to ensure our youth are supported and have every opportunity to
thrive into the future.”
About Be Safe
Be Safe was originally developed by a dedicated team of youth, mindyourmind, CAMH’s
Provincial System Support Program (PSSP), and other partners in the Systems Improvement
through Service Collaboratives initiative in London, Ontario. It was first introduced in London
and Middlesex County in 2014, and expanded throughout the years with its high rate of
success. For more information visit mindyourmind.ca/interactives/be-safe.