Creating a Suicide Safety Plan

Make a safety plan while you are not in crisis so you have it available when you are.

Being in the grip of suicidal thoughts and feelings can be terrifying. You may be unable to think clearly, remembering only pain from your past and unable to imagine anything good ever happening in your future. That’s why it’s helpful to have a suicide safety plan in place before you find yourself desperate. The purpose of the plan is to give you some concrete steps to follow to keep yourself safe when you feel like you can’t go on any longer.

Start creating your plan at a moment when you’re still capable of feeling some hope, and have some belief that life is worth living. If you can’t imagine feeling that way, then get someone who cares about you and knows you well to help. Start by writing down a collection of warning signs that you are starting to become severely depressed and suicidal. These warning signs will help you and others recognize when you are likely to need extra support. Examples of warning signs might be, “Withdrawing from friends and family,” or “loss of interest in hobbies.”

Next, write down a list of coping strategies that you can use to make yourself feel a bit better. Some people take a hot shower, or cuddle with a pet, or take a walk. The goal isn’t to make you feel all the way better immediately. There may be nothing that can do that. The point is to give you some things to try before you give up completely. Sometimes even feeling a tiny bit better can be enough to take your mind off suicide.

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The next step is to write down the names and phone numbers of family and friends who might be able to help you when you are suicidal. You might want to call and talk to these people first and ask them if you can put them on your emergency list. If you know ahead of time that it’s okay to call someone at two in the morning when you’re at the end of your strength, then you won’t feel reluctant to call when you’re in crisis.

Finally, write a list of professional people you can call in case of emergency, along with their phone numbers. Include your doctor, counselor if you have one, and the number for the local hospital. Again, it’s a good idea to find out ahead of time what will happen if you call after hours. You don’t want to be stuck talking to an answering machine if you’re in crisis!

Share your suicide safety plan with supportive people who are close to you, so they know how to take care of you if you become suicidal. Keep it with you in your purse or wallet. If you’re worried about someone finding it and judging you, just don’t label it “Suicide Safety Plan.” Call it something like “Important Phone Numbers.”

If suicidal thoughts and feelings strike, keep going step by step through your plan until you feel safe.

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8 Comments

  • My name is Lorenzo. I have had a real tough life and also i have diabetes which has affected my life. I have lost numerous relationship because of the effects of my sickness. My parents never paid attention to me when i needed the most. Ive have been feeling depressed to the point that i really have to force myself to get out of bed and even smile. I feel empty inside of me and feel i am stuck in a boxed room with no way out. I have looked to God for guidance with no results. Been to the doctor and i end up worse. I feel i have no other option that i have already explored. I just want to not live and even wonder why i exist.

    • Sometimes I feel the same way. BUT, just because things seem to be hopeless, they don´t have to be hopeless. The night is the darkest, before it dawns. You Sound like you´re Young, I just turned 19 myself. The only girl who has ever loved does not want to have any Business with me anymore, because I ignored her advances a year ago. Three months ago, the morning after prom, I realised not approaching her was the biggest mistake of my life. I always loved her, but didn´t realise it. Now, she does not even tell me why she doesn´t want me anymore. I have cried at very least 250 times since then. I haven´t slept normally since then. I am unemployed since then. For me, there seems to be absoultely no way that I can ever be happy again. But maybe things will become brighter. We only Need to be open for it.
      What I am trying to tell you is that you never know what life might offer you tomorrow. Maybe, you will find the love of life and be happy with her. There are countless positive things that could happen to you. You should not just give up and turn down all the offers that your life might have for you. Every single day has the potency to make things better.

  • I’m lonely, ugly,fat,not a good wife daughter sister and mainly not a good mom . I really love my but but I guess they will be good without me . I’m very lonely. My husband not talking to me . I do have a guilty but I’m not that bad as he used the words for me. Can’t take it anymore.

  • Just read this page. To be honest was looking at “7 top methods of killing yourself” Planning the date soon.
    Then read this site. I’ve tried mental health, they weren’t much use(I live on the east coast and come under GT Yarmouth &Haven’t M/H).
    How can SF help?

    • I do not know if it can help

        you

      or not- many find it helpful talking to others in the same situation, and find it useful to talk to people that have felt that way and found ways to feel better. Some people prefer talking to and getting advice from others that have dealt with the same things. Whether it it helps any particular individual just depends on what they expect from it and how they like to communicate or are most comfortable. You are not going to join and instantly be better, it is not going to change all the problems in your life- but you might not feel so alone and you might get some real advice from people that understand what is going ion because they have felt the same , not just read about it in a book.

  • As I read all the comments and topics , I found nothing about financial issues. Why?
    Having financial problems drives me right to the edge frequently.
    I’m old and tired. Worked almost all my life. Actually, my job defined me. Now I am alone and extremely lonely. The kids are off and don’t even call on Christmas… I was a good mom. Now , I have awful healthcare benefits, no dental and am in extreme pain. Bought food instead of paying for the electric bill. Phone will be cut off soon. I’m weary and tired. My quality of life is horrific. Sad and at my age, nothing to look forward to. I believe in euthanasia ,if I become a burden upon my family and or society. Trying to survive-is futile at my age.

  • I know how you feel.. I can’t pay my bills this month I am so far behind. Things were different before I got breast cancer. I have had hospitals and doctors garnish my check I make payments just not enough. So I was served with papers and they garnished my check. Then my lights were turned off.. My kids are grown with there families..

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