We redesigned Befrienders Worldwide’s website to ensure that people in need have access to suicide prevention hotlines as easily as possible.
The results & the experience
Over 700,000 people die by suicide every year according to the World Health Organisation. For every death there are an estimated twenty attempted suicides. People in need require easy access to support – in their timezone and language – so that they can be listened to in confidence and without prejudice as soon as possible.
For over 10 years, Base Creative has been working in partnership with Befrienders Worldwide, an international charity dedicated to providing support to those in need of suicide prevention helplines. Since 2012 the charity has grown to encompass 349 emotional support centres across 32 countries, with 25,000 volunteers providing support to an estimated 7 million people each year.
The charity’s most recent website design aims to get people in need support as quickly and as easily as possible by connecting them to the hotline relevant to them.
Building Befrienders’ site
We started working with Befrienders Worldwide back in 2012, developing their web presence and assisting them with Google Ads campaigns and analytics. As part of that partnership, Base Creative also raised money for the charity – including in our 2022 Christmas Campaign.
After developing the original befrienders.org site, we created help.befrienders.org – known as the Help app – in 2019. The idea was to focus on helping those in need by streamlining their access to help centre information. However, this also meant that Befrienders Worldwide’s audience was split between these different websites.
The new website is another step in Befrienders Worldwide’s online journey, leveraging the visibility of the main befrienders.org domain to offer help and support to an even larger audience.
Defining different audiences
This new website project grew out of the desire to help people in need access Befrienders Worldwide’s fantastic support network as quickly and as easily as possible. To do this, a distinction needed to be drawn between the two audiences Befrienders Worldwide focuses on: organisations and people in need.
After the launch of the Help app, the old befrienders.org became more geared towards organisations seeking to learn about the charity and how to become a member so that their support numbers could be listed. In contrast, the Help app was aimed directly at people in need of support.
In 2021, the main Befrienders Worldwide website received over a million visitors, compared to 70,000 on the Help app. With this in mind, a key aim of the redesigned main website is to improve the visibility of the support available both on the site and through search engines.
The redesign consolidates Befrienders Worldwide’s support for members and those in need in one place. Information for members and potential members remains a part of the new site, while information for people in need is more visible and immediately accessible.
As soon as users land on the new site’s homepage, their nearest help centre and its phone number are displayed, wherever they are in the world. The site looks at each visitor’s language settings and approximate location to find the right help centre for them. Content about helping yourself and others is also easier to access, and more visible on the homepage.
These changes are designed to give people access to help as quickly as possible in situations where time is undeniably of the essence.
The new website is part of Base Creative’s ongoing partnership with Befrienders Worldwide. We will continue to make adjustments to the site to improve its search visibility and give people in need of support easy access to the information they need.
This website is yet a further iteration of Befrienders Worldwide ambition to be a leading source of emotional help globally. Base Creative did not just implement our ideas and produce this website. They were equal partners in developing this concept, reviewing the effectiveness of our current websites and designing this system. The next phase of this project is no less challenging: we will translate this website into as many languages as we can, to increase our reach to people in emotional need.Oscar Monteiro, Project Coordinator, Befrienders Worldwide
We are thrilled to have collaborated with Befrienders Worldwide in creating this brand new website. It is our hope that the new site will provide easy access to those who need suicide prevention hotlines globally and support the ongoing efforts of Befrienders Worldwide.Iain Scott, CEO, Base Creative