A suicide prevention safety plan is a written set of instructions that you create for yourself as a contingency plan should you begin to experience thoughts about harming yourself. It will contain a series of gradually escalating steps that you will follow, proceeding from one step to the next, until you are safe.
Creating a safety plan will look different for everyone, but the important thing is that it works for you and you can recognize when your safety plan should be used. You should work together with someone you trust—such as your best friend, a close family member, or your doctor or therapist—to develop your suicide safety plan. It is best to get these people involved since you will most likely need to call on them if you decide to use your safety plan.
The first step in creating your suicide safety plan is to familiarize yourself with the types of situations, images, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that might precede or accompany suicidal urges for you. Examples of the following steps to be written down on a safety plan may include; how to calm yourself, a list of reasons for living, trusted contact information, and professional assistance resources.
One of the most important things to have listed in your safety plan is a reminder of what to do when other steps have failed. Keep the name, address, and directions to the hospital listed in your plan for easy access, or save it in your GPS. If you do not think you should drive yourself, please do not be afraid to call 911. Your safety is worth it. Your life is worth it.
For additional resources for creating a safety plan, visit Help Yourself: Lifeline (suicidepreventionlifeline.org)