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.
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.
I thought I would add in something. I find it very daunting to complete a safety plan. I have only done one with my mental health nurse because I had to complete one to register for disability services. It was very general such as calling 000 if required and talking to my mum during uni hours if required. But I have never completed on by myself and being fully honest about it. I downloaded the BeyondNow app a while ago and looked at it and struggled to do it. I am going to complete it now but I was just wanting to add in that for me it was a bit daunting and I am pretty sure it is normal to feel this way
Stay safe 🙂
Hi Becs125, How are you? Still with us hopefully. I've been through 3 bouts of clinical depression and I know how you feel. You probably are unable to complete a safety plan because the darkness is holding you down. Your brain is spiralling and making everything feel worse and harder than normal. The good news is that you can get through this and there is support for you. Hey, if I could crawl out of the hole - so can you.
Also, having lost my mum to suicide, I made a vow to never do that to anyone I loved, because its a pain not even your worst enemy deserves. xx
I have been referred back to counselling.
My GP made me promise to go to the offices if I am in crisis.
I need to keep busy and not think about things but then i get exhausted.
I am at my wits end at the moment. Struggling with life and keeping my shit together.
I might download that app.
I think I have a bit of a Plan in place. I'm not sure most of it is actually a plan as more of a coping mechanism.
My partner helps me. He locks away my medication and only gives me what i need when I need it. He's a good boy :).
I also promise myself every morning, no matter what happens, I will give myself 24 hours to work through issues. No sudden decisions.
I also ensure every day that I spend time patting/ massaging my little dog. She loves the massage and I calm down when with her
If thats a plan then it does seem to be working.
I might however check out your app anyway as I do love being proactive in my health.
Thanks for reading 🙂
I feel like I've been encouraging safety plans a lot lately and repeating one thing my psychologist encouraged in me...
Make your safety plan incredibly thorough and detailed. So that when you are in a space where you can't think about anything but self harm or suicide you don't have to think about what to do... Just work through the steps. One dot point at a time.
My psychologist said the point was giving yourself time. Time for the feelings to pass. Time to realise that this impulse will pass and suicide will not make the pain go away.. . It will just give it to someone else (people who care about you).
For me this meant a HUGE plan on my fridge and written out on my phone. No thinking involved just follow my own plans and keep safe.
- Distraction techniques listed out in dot points (all realistic things and a LOT of them). Most importantly options for ANY time of day or night.
- Then names and numbers of people I could call. First friends and family. Then the helplines (all of them). Then the suicide call back service. All numbers listed. Read and dial and talk. One at a time.
- Then a list of options of where I could go to have company and keep myself physically safe. Or people I know I could call and ask to come to me. What I needed to do to keep my environment safe (ie asking hubby to take meds and certain things out of the house).
- Then emergency plan. What to do if all else fails. Where to go. Numbers to call. And to make sure the first aid kit is stocked and accessible at all times before this point.
Personally I don't use apps. Your safety plan can be as enormous as you need. In any format that works for you. The only goal is keeping yourself safe. How you achieve that is up to you.
I do have a safety plan and I believe it is very good that beyond blue is providing this for its users.
for me i am not sure I take myself seriously enough to actually use it. When i am in a bad place I overthink it and say to myself “you have been worse” or “you can feel even worse then this you don’t need the safety plan yet” I suppose i am just unsure if i will ever be in real danger to myself. Sometimes I worry about myself but not enough to open the app and review my plan.
I am not sure if anyone else has felt like this before.