Based on research conducted by psychologists Barbara Stanley and Gregory Brown, creating a safety plan can be an effective way to address suicidal ideation. If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, a Safety Plan is a tool that can remind you of sources of support and strategies that help. It can help you identify the feelings that lead you to thoughts of suicide, remind you of your reasons to live, and ways to get through these tough times.
A safety plan can help with a variety of situations, supporting both your physical safety and emotional well-being. Such as:
At times like these, your problem-solving abilities are often impaired, making it feel difficult to know what to do. Hurting yourself or ending your life might feel like the only answer to the extreme pain you are experiencing.
It is important to remember that these feelings will pass. Using a Safety Plan can help you navigate these strong emotions and feel more in control, especially when everything feels out of control. It can remind you of your coping strategies, reasons for living as well as people, and services you can connect with to help you navigate the storm.
It is best to create the plan at a time when you are feeling well and thinking clearly, rather than waiting until you are overwhelmed and feeling suicidal. Work with those you trust to help you develop the plan. Put your Safety Plan in writing. Keep it in a place where you can easily find it and share it with others you trust.
Below are seven steps you can include in your Safety Plan.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, the quickest way to get help is to call an ambulance at 119.
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