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Do you have a safety plan?


Safety planning involves creating a structured plan – ideally with support from your health professional or someone you trust – that you work through when you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, feelings, distress or crisis.

Your safety plan starts with things you can do by yourself, such as thinking about your reasons to live and distracting yourself with enjoyable activities. It then moves on to coping strategies and people you can contact for support – your friends, family and health professionals.

The safety planning model was developed in the US by suicide prevention experts Barbara Stanley and Gregory Brown. It has been used extensively by US veterans’ health organisations, hospital emergency departments and high schools, and there is strong evidence that it works. Many health professionals in Australia also use some form of safety planning to support clients experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings, or after a suicide attempt.

beyondblue has an app you can use to create a safety plan, called BeyondNow.

The BeyondNow app takes the principles of safety planning and makes it even easier to use – so rather than carrying around a piece of paper, you’ve got it on your phone at all times. It’s free to download from the Apple Store or Google Play.

If you don’t have a smartphone or would prefer to use your desktop or laptop, BeyondNow is also available to use on our website.

Do you have a safety plan?  Do you have questions around how you might create one, or fill out some of the sections? 

This thread is for discussing ideas around creating a safety plan, and sharing tips about what has been most useful about this process for you.

Below are two videos featuring Peter and Nic, who have both used safety plans successfully.  




97 Replies 97

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

I have no "safety plan" as such.

I have only consented to one thing and that is to speak to my GP after my beloved Cat leaves this mortal coil.

Hi Legion, thanks for posting. Would you consider making one using this new tool, and letting us know how you go with it?

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Sophie_M,

Perhaps once, a long time ago I may have considered using such a tool or perhaps some other mechanism but not now. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that your system will not work, I'm sure it's a very good thing for many folks, it's just not for me.

Community Member

Dear Sophie,

I do have a safety plan and I had a look at your tool. I think it is great and I am grateful that you guys at beyondblue start looking at some apps. I don't use this app at the moment as I feel comfortable with my current safety plan, which is on my phone as well, but it is typed and in various locations and having it all in one place is great idea.

 Thank you and please keep the good work up, it is so important to know what to do when things look like they will never change.

Take care, Yggy

Community Member
Just would like to say great idea and would love to create a plan but not confident on computers and the app needs iOS 8 or better most of us are struggling that's why we use this site so I believe the majority of people would be as I am and iOS 7 is what we can afford now. Such a shame iphone 4 can't download this app:(

Hi Saltbush boy, sorry that you can't access the app version of Beyond Now on your iphone 4.

There were significant cost and feature implications involved with making this app compatible for older phones, so we made the decision to go with iOS8 or later as this reaches over 90% of iphone users.  

The web version of Beyond Now is optimised for mobile, so you should find the experience of creating a plan on our website very similar to what you would get with the app.

Community Member
I had a safety plan written up for me when I left hospital a couple of weeks ago & given steps to take when I feel like I can't take it anymore & the suicidal thoughts start, problem is that when I decide that I don't want to be here anymore I don't think I'd be using the safety plan or calling anyone, I don't want to be stuck in my life anymore & am struggling to decide whether I actually want help or if I've decided that I've had enough as I don't think I can be helped...

Hi Becs125, it's great that you have a safety plan.  Your life matters and it's good to have a number of strategies to support it.

Safety plans are like any other tool, they work best when they're used correctly.  Here's some tips:

1. It's best to access your safety plan when you are just starting to feel a bit bad, when you just  start noticing your thoughts are heading you in that direction.

2. Feelings of ambivalence (mixed feelings) are common.  Many people find their thoughts going to and fro between wanting to live and wanting to die. The side of you that wants to live probably needs some help as suicidal thoughts can be so seductive, and this is another good trigger to recognise and go to your safety plan when you feel like this.

3. Safety plans are best developed collaboratively so that the ideas are yours (you mention your plan was written up for you - how much input did you have into it?). The best time to write a safety plan is when you are feeling more aligned with that side of you that wants to live.

Finally Becs125, as well as the threads here, you might want to also look at the Metanoia website - it's been put together by people who have been suicidal for people who are suicidal.

I hope this helps.


I have used the app (iPhone 4s) and thought it was extremely well designed.

I did it at the wrong time, which is beyond your power, and answering questions about who I have to talk to (no one) made me feel horrible, but that was self inflicted for trying to go do the plan when in a very depressive state. I think you already have a warning about this 🙂

I've suggested it to a few people, and stressed the whole do it with someone you trust or when you you are on an up. I particularly think it useful for psychologists working with people and think you should make an effort at aiming some info about it towards them particularly people working with youth.