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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

Community Member

I have the Beyond Blue safety plan and used it several times over recent months.I find that when I am feeling very depressed I cannot work a computer but I can manage to use the phone app when I am confused and muddle headed.

I like Quercus's idea of making your plan very detailed. I find the phone app very reassuring that I have it. I don't have any friends or family listed to call but I do have the lifeline number. It feels like a little friend in my pocket that keeps me company and goes wherever I go.

I also have made a "Care Box" (My Psychiatrist suggested that)= shoe box with photos of my children when they were young and a few photos of the sea and other things I like.

I also have a "Care Box" on Pinterest, so I can look at lots of beautiful photos of nature and animals etc .

Community Member
I have a safety plan but it is not really working, just too much going on and I am struggling. I think it might need reviewing.

Hi ktac1689,

Thank you for your post and I'm glad that you're talking about safety plans - they are so important.

A review of safety plans sounds good. I know I have to review mine too. Maybe it might help to think about what's on your safety plan and what you might need? Quercus gave a few suggestions - even having things to distract yourself or keep yourself safe.


Hi Lulu,

I just saw your post today too so thought I'd respond to it, because yes - absolutely I can relate to this. Sometimes I'm like "you're fine - it's not that bad", when in reality it is that bad and using the safety plan would be helpful!

I recently learned a lot about safety plans being renamed to coping plans, and it kind of reframes it to less about safety and more about coping in general. All of us everywhere have times where it's hard to cope, so we don't have to be at risk of harm to think about having a plan or a resource for it.

Would it be helpful to think about safety plans in this way? That way you don't have to meet some sort of imaginary criteria? 🙂


Community Member

No I don't have a safety plan.

What would it involve and how do I make one please someone? Thanks.


Hi Tayla,

Beyond Blue has their own app called Beyond Now which is for safety planning, and there's also a web version on the website if you're not keen on apps.

There's more info and videos at the top of the page but I'll link to it here too - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/beyondnow-suicide-safety-planning

and the web version - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/beyondnow-suicide-safety-planning/create-beyondnow-safety-...  Sometimes the web version can be helpful in just finding some prompts or ideas - ultimately whatever you choose, it's your safety plan so you get to pick and choose what you like and what works for you.


Hi romantic_th3f, thank you for that, I'll check out those links.

So would it involve putting people you trust (such as a parent) as an emergency contact? How about my Psychiatrist, if I was allowed to? The triage refuse to help me because he referred me there, why i don't know, hence me asking that. Thanks anyway.


Hi Tayla,

Yep- you can pop your psychiatrist down on the list! There aren't any rules when it comes to making one (so you can't get it wrong 🙂 ). You could even pop the forums on your list if that helped - or any hotlines, friends or family members.


How can I contact my Psychiatrist though? I only see him on Telehealth so like Skype, and I haven't asked him if I can call the Telehealth Company &/or the Hospital he works at & leave a message? Is that allowed or should I ask him? Don't want to invade his privacy. I'll do the safety plan later, thanks.


Hi Tayla,

Sorry I can't answer that one since it really depends on the psychiatrist! Maybe next time you have an appointment you can ask?