Healthwatch Bristol nominee Dr Knut Schroeder is “Highly Commended” at the Healthwatch England Conference 2018

Dr Knut Schroeder, a Bristol-based GP, was nominated by Healthwatch Bristol for this year’s #NHS70 award at the Healthwatch England Conference.

The app was a collaborative project with Bristol Health Partners and the Improving Care in Self-Harm Health Integration Team (STITCH HIT), University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, as well as other local and national organisations. He was one of  170 nomination entries and was highly commended at the awards.

Knut came up with the idea of developing the app to help young people struggling with mental ill health: "This app is designed for people when they’re at their most vulnerable. It can be hard to seek help, so distrACT aims to make that process as easy as possible. The young people we worked with have informed the content and design, so we hope that it can become a reliable source of support during difficult times."

We named it distrACT for two reasons. People wanted it to be discreet, so we deliberately didn’t use the term ‘self-harm’. And distraction from thoughts about self-harm can help people avoid actually going through with it.

The app was launched after a cluster of student suicides at Bristol University. Healthwatch Bristol manager Sarah Ambe says: “Time and again we are impressed with the dedicated work that individuals do in Bristol to help those in their community. It has been a pleasure working with Knut.”

In response to receiving his commendation, Knut said ,“Huge thanks to the Healthwatch Bristol team again for all the support and for nominating me. It means a lot, and I really appreciate it. I’m delighted that we made it into the finals and were ‘highly commended’. This is really for everyone involved in creating and supporting the app. I look forward to working with you on new projects together!