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.
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.
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
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.
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.