A suicide safety plan is a plan you and your therapist develop to help you when you start to have thoughts about harming yourself. This plan has steps you follow until you feel safe. Each safety plan usually contains, though sometimes called something different, the following sections: Warning Signs, Self-Management Strategies, Reasons to Live, Social Supports, and Crisis Contact Info. My plan also has Stress Indicators and Places for Distraction.
My suicide safety plan has helped me many times in the last year when I’ve had thoughts of self-harm. I thought it might be a good idea to share most of it with you. Maybe someone will find it helpful. First, let me explain each of the sections.
- Stress Indicators: these are topics or areas of your life that you find difficult to cope with and may trigger your warning sign(s).
- Warning Signs: these are types of situations, images, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that warn you that you’re entering dangerous waters.
- Self-Management Strategies: these are things that can soothe you when you’re upset.
- Places for Distraction: these are places you can go to distract yourself from thoughts of self-harm.
- Reasons to Live: these are your reasons to live when you’re clear-headed.
- Social Supports: these are your trusted contacts–people you can call during a crisis. It’s helpful to include their phone number as part of the safety plan.
- Crisis Contact Info: this is the contact info for professional services like the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (there’s more than one).
Your suicide safety plan will be ever evolving as you discover new stresses or warnings or even more soothing strategies. It’s important to keep your plan somewhere you can access it easily and readily. I keep mine in my Notes app on my phone. There are also specific safety plan apps you can look at. I’ve tried a couple, but I’ve found I like the flexibility of the Notes app the best.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s my suicide safety plan.
- Hopeless about weight
- Hopeless about health
- Hopeless about future
- Fear of abandonment
- Do something embarrassing
- Get defensive
- Relationship problems with Corey
- Hopeless about intimacy problems
- Money problems
- Family problems
- Thinking “I don’t want to deal with this” or “I can’t do this”
- Scared to face whatever stressed about
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Heart beating rapidly
- Crying uncontrollably
- Feelings of depression
- Desiring to lay down or sleep
- Desiring to binge eat, mostly unhealthy foods
- Wanting specific people around to help me
- Drink herbal tea or cocoa
- Curl up in a blanket
- Make a heater tent
- Take a nap
- Go see a llama
- Soak in the bath
- Read a favorite scene in a book
- Watch a favorite movie
- Talk to a friend
- Listen to “Next Right Thing”
- Read patriarchal blessing
Places for Distraction
- Cinemark University Mall
- Barnes & Noble
- Hobby Lobby
- Cascade Mini Golf
- Color Me Mine
Reasons to Live
- I don’t want to hurt Corey.
- I don’t want to leave my kitties without a mom.
- My friends will miss me and I don’t want to hurt them.
- I won’t get to look at llamas anymore.
- I won’t get to sit, relax, and read in my library anymore.
- Ollie will miss me.
- I won’t get to think about my top 15 anymore.
- I won’t get the slim chance to meet Hiddles, Bomer, or Ewan someday.
I’m not going to include my social supports and their contact info as that’s not good Internet etiquette. I do have that planned out as well, though. For anyone needing the crisis info, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
I hope this post was helpful. 😘