After the 2008 economic crisis, the suicide rate all over the world increased uncontrollably. From 2008 to 2010 suicide rate among people who had lost their job, in Italy, had increased by 44.7%.
Sprung from a friend’s personal experience, Life Charm is a project developed in response to those startling facts.
There are 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year worldwide.
Drugs are the often over-used solution to deal with patients who have attempted suicide, but alternative methods like talk therapies are physically and psychologically healthier –and arguably more effective- alternatives.
Life Charm is a jewel/recording device meant to be part of talk therapies programs: the patient is given one of these pendants at the beginning of the treatment with a series of instructions. The patient will hand the device over to his or her loved ones (such as partner, relatives, close friends etc.) who will, by pressing the button in the back, record a personal message, might it be words of comfort or love.
After the recording session the device is given back to the patient who will have to wear it at all times.
The suicide instinct is something sudden and irrational: studies report that in 70% of the cases, the time between deciding to commit suicide and taking action was under an hour, for about 25% the time gap was five minutes or less, this because the subjects are easily brought to their senses in a short timeframe.
In this way a patient could easily break out of this state of mind thanks to small distractions by –for example- just looking at the device, something that would probably happen if we consider the movements of an attempt suicide to prepare for the act like looking down at one’s hands or leaning over a bridge or window.
If this alone wouldn’t work, by pressing the button on the back the Life Charm would play back all the vocal messages recorded: a comforting shock.