A suicide safety plan can play a vital role in keeping you safe when you're feeling distressed or suicidal.
Tips for creating a suicide safety plan
- Work with a trusted family member or friend, or a professional to develop a suicide safety plan. It is helpful to involve important people around you, as they need to know how best to care for you and keep you safe if you’re feeling suicidal.
- Try to find a time when you’re feeling well, calm and clear-headed, rather than when you’re suicidal or distressed.
- Write your safety plan down and keep it in a place where you can easily find it when you need it.
Your suicide safety plan should include:
- Information about when to use the plan. List the kinds of situations, thoughts, feelings or other warning signs that may lead to you feeling suicidal.
- A list of things that you can do that help you feel calm and comforted. Think of soothing, calming activities that you can employ when you’re feeling suicidal.
- A list of all your reasons for living. It can be helpful to refer to this list when you’re feeling suicidal, as you can lose focus on the positive aspects of your life and concentrate only on the pain you’re experiencing. Your list can remind you of these positives you may have forgotten.
- People you can talk to when you’re feeling suicidal. Include their names and contact details, and make sure you have back ups.
- Professionals who you can talk to if you need to, again including their names and up-to-date contact details.
- A plan of how you can make your environment safe. Think about items you might be likely to use to hurt yourself, and detail how you can remove or secure them. Your plan may also include avoiding things you know make you feel worse.
- Emergency contact details that you can use if you are still feeling unsafe. List the name and address of your nearest emergency department or crisis helpline.
- Make a commitment to your safety plan. This means promising yourself that you will implement your plan if you need to. The commitment could also involve promising (out loud) to a family member, friend or professional that you will follow your plan.
This information is available as part of the downloadable tip sheet Self-help for suicidal feelings