Safety Planning

Suicidal Thoughts

You may be surprised, but suicidal thoughts are not uncommon. These thoughts can be scary and overwhelming. Luckily there are a number of ways we can cope with suicidal thoughts and steps we can take to keep ourselves safe.  Many people are scared to talk about their thoughts, for fear of seeming “crazy,” being “locked” up, or just not understanding why they are having these thoughts.

Those we love may not want to talk about it, as they feel it may make someone think about suicide.  This is not the case.  People are relieved to know someone is interested in what they think and how they feel.  Talking about suicide is not going to make someone complete suicide.  If anything, it will open the door to ask for support.  So, how can you help someone who is thinking about suicide?  You can ask them if they have a safety plan. If not, here is a sample outline of a safety plan .

Safety PlansBlocks Spelling Safety Falling Over As Symbol for Danger And Warning

A safety plan is important because it lays out, step by step, how to help ourselves when intrusive thoughts arise. A safety plan is best prepared when we are not having suicidal thoughts. It can be difficult to think of ways in which to help ourselves feel better or safe. A safety plan is helpful when we are feeling hopeless.

Preparing a safety plan allows us to implement concrete coping strategies that have either worked for us before, or are recommended by professionals.

Common coping strategies may include deep breathing, mindfulness, writing in a journal, getting outside for a walk, or talking to a loved one. These are only a few examples, and each person has different coping strategies that work specifically for them!

If you need help creating your safety plan, or want to talk to someone about how you are feeling please feel free to contact me.