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.