Frequently asked questions

Making a Call

How do I make a call?


To make a Be Safe call, open the app and push the button at the bottom of the screen that says "Call a Supporter". On the next screen, you'll see the address that the app thinks you're at, if it's incorrect, please edit it; and if you have any notes that you'd like your supporter to see if you overdose, you can enter them in the "Instructions" section.

Lastly, if you're part of one or more communities, you can choose which one to call by selecting from the communities that apper when you click on Community.

When you're ready, hit the button that says 'Confirm Address & Call'.




Will my Supporter see my address?


No. Your address is only released to your Supporter if you become unresponsive, and they push the 'Overdose' button during the call. You will then have 20 seconds (or more if your community has changed these settings) to refuse to share your location. Assuming you are overdosing, of course, you won't see that alert on your phone. After that, your address, and any notes you entered under 'Instructions' will be shared with your Supporter so they can send help.




Can anyone see me while I'm on the call? And why not use video?


No. Our calls are voice only. There is no way for anyone to see you through the app. Why isn't this a video call? Video seems like a really good idea and it's likely that at some point in the future a limited and optional video feature will be available.

There are 3 primary reasons why our exploration of this option with people who use resulted in it not being implemented.
1 - people have privacy concerns about video, even if it's not turned on, just having the option there concerns people significantly. 2 - the reason we would want to use video is to make it more easy and accurate to determine if the Caller is actually in distress or not. However, video is still not perfect (only being there in person is perfect), and the cost (see points 1 and 3) did not appear to outweigh the benefit.

3 - making a call over the internet takes less than 10% of the network strength to maintain than a video call. As everyone who has had to make a video conference call knows, setting up the mic and video and ensuring you can hear/see each other frequently takes a few minutes - not only do most people who have phones and internet not always have this strong of a connection, nobody has the time or patience to spend 3 mins to just setting up the phone call when you're trying to get your gear set up and get on with your life.




What if my Supporter is a jerk, or I just want someone else?


If you need to change Supporter for any reason, during a call, you can push the 'Switch Supporter' button at the bottom of the call screen and we'll try to find someone else for you.




How do I end a call?


Only Callers - someone who initiated a call - can end a call. You can do this at any time by hanging up, and you'll be asked to confirm that you want to end the call before the call ends.




What will actually happen on a call?


That's completely up to you, as Caller, but we have guidelines and expectations. What we expect to happen is that the Caller and the Supporter will quickly set expectations: - what substance is being used - how is it being consumed - what does the Caller expect to happen (60 seconds in-and-out or a 10 minute call...) - does the Caller have Naloxone with them - did the Caller check the address before making the call - were there any special instructions entered - how long does the Caller want the Supporter to wait, if there is no verbal response, before trying to send help If you can go through those questions you'll be fairly well covered and ready to get on with things. We ask, of course, everyone to treat each other with respect, kindness and consideration; without judgement or shame or stigma.




How do I become a Supporter?


In order to switch your Supporter status on or off, you need to enter the settings menu, and then 'Your Communities' and then within each community you can turn your status on or off. If you are part of Community, you'll need to connect with your community administrator to confirm if you are scheduled to be a Supporter or not. In the public BeSafe group (the default), you can only become a Supporter by applying through Brave by completing this form, please apply, we need as many as we can get! In he future we hope to add a training and qualification process for those who wish to help but do not yet have experience in this area.




Why is this not a video call?


Why isn't this a video call? Video seems like a really good idea and it's likely that at some point in the future a limited and optional video feature will be available.

There are 3 primary reasons why our exploration of this option with people who use resulted in it not being implemented.
1 - people have privacy concerns about video, even if it's not turned on, just having the option there concerns people significantly. 2 - the reason we would want to use video is to make it more easy and accurate to determine if the Caller is actually in distress or not. However, video is still not perfect (only being there in person is perfect), and the cost (see points 1 and 3) did not appear to outweigh the benefit.

3 - making a call over the internet takes less than 10% of the network strength to maintain than a video call. As everyone who has had to make a video conference call knows, setting up the mic and video and ensuring you can hear/see each other frequently takes a few minutes - not only do most people who have phones and internet not always have this strong of a connection, nobody has the time or patience to spend 3 mins to just setting up the phone call when you're trying to get your gear set up and get on with your life.





Answering Calls - Supporters

How do I answer a call?


As a Supporter, a call will come through to you as if it's a phone call, but it will clearly say "BeSafe" and the caller's nickname/avatar/handle may be displayed. When you answer the call, depending on your phone, you may be taken straight to the app, or you may need to unlock your device after you've answered the call in order to go into the app.




What if I can no longer Support a Caller?


Stuff happens, you might be supporting someone when your kid falls off the table and you have to deal with that immediately, or your phone might be running out of battery or you're about to go into a tunnel... If you need to get off the call, you can push a button to request that a new Supporter is brought onto the call. If successful, you'll be dropped from the call, and the new Supporter will replace you - there won't be an opportunity for you to hand off the call in any way. In the event we can't find a new Supporter, please stay on the call for as long as you can. It's not possible to actually end the call (only the Caller can do that) and please make sure you communicate with your Caller about what's going on.




What do I do if I think the Caller has overdosed?


If your Caller is unresponsive, or you have other reasons to believe they've overdosed, based on your experience and the expectations you set at the beginning of the call, push the 'Overdose' button. Pushing the button will alert the Caller that you think they've Overdosed. If they are able to, they might reject the alert, indicating they are okay. In that case, you won't proceed to the next step. If they do not reject the alert, their location will be revealed to you, together with any notes or instructions they've provided. Use that information to summon help: call 911 or alert the agreed party if your community or Caller provided protocols for that.




How do I get community responders to respond to an overdose?


Brave is building out a system to activate community response so that the emergency response system (911) isn't overburdened, and to combat issues of stigma and criminalisation suffered by people who use drugs. The system (which we call Responder) is not yet active on a public basis. We're working on it.




If I call 911, what do I tell them?


For now, if you want to connect with 911 to get them to respond to a Caller who has overdosed, you have to call them while you're still connected to the app. We cannot guarantee that the dispatcher you are connected with will understand the situation and we are working on an integration to enable you to send the necessary information over the internet without needing to place a phone call. In the meantime, we suggest you tell them that you were on a call with someone at [their address] and they have become unresponsive, you suspect they are not breathing... you may need to say that you believe they have suffered an accidental overdose as they may have been consuming substances that could cause that while you were on the call with them. Many of our community partners are working on the best way to communicate with dispatchers for their location - if you are part of a community, you may receive a script from the community administrator.
We invite you to contact us at besafe@brave.coop to let us know what your experience of talking to 911 was like so we can improve this for other Supporters in the future.




How do I become a Supporter


In order to switch your Supporter status on or off, you need to enter the settings menu, and then 'Your Communities' and then within each community you can turn your status on or off. If you are part of Community, you'll need to connect with your community administrator to confirm if you are scheduled to be a Supporter or not. In the public BeSafe group (the default), you can only become a Supporter by applying through Brave by completing this form, please apply, we need as many as we can get! We're adding resources (training etc) but highly value lived and living experience - there's no training that can teach that! In the future we'll be able to bring on those beautiful souls who wish to help but do not yet have experience in this area.





Other

What are Communities?


BeSafe allows you to create your own community of support. It's like a private facebook group - you get a secret code to hand out to people you want to invite and then only those people will have access to the community. Communities need an administrator - one person who will be responsible for managing the community. That person can tell us which number to alert in the event of an overdose (if any), and set up a hotline number to call in case we can't find a Supporter. Fill out this form if you'd like to set up your own community.




Does anyone have to pay for this app?


Nope. Well, not exactly. End-users can download the app for free, and it will always be free. We ask communities to agree to pay $12 per year for each community. And we partner with organisations, cities, health departments and companies to make the app available within their communities for a negotiated price. This would include, however, training, onboarding, reporting and much more besides the app itself.




I've heard you're a cooperative, can I join?


Yes! BeSafe was built by the Brave Technology Coop and anyone who uses our technology is entitled to join. There's way more information here (and at links on that page), we'd love to have you!





CONTACT US:

 

877 E. Hastings St.

Vancouver, BC

besafe@brave.coop

T: +1-604-500-8569

 

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