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Safety plan -know the warning signs

A safety plan can help you to know your warning signs and keep you safe when you are low or feeling suicidal. Your safety plan will remind you of reasons to live and connect you with the people and services who can help during the tough times, giving you some perspective when you’re feeling low.

A safety plan varies from person to person; it can take many forms and be presented in various formats. But they all include similar information. Please download Minplan in Appstore and Play to get your safety plan HERE.

Then find a time when you are calm, and maybe work together with someone you trust – such as a close friend, family member, doctor, or counselor to develop your safety plan. It is a good idea to get these people involved since you may need to call on them, and they must know the best way to care for you. It is best to create the plan at a time when you are feeling well and thinking clearly, rather than waiting until you are overwhelmed and feeling suicidal.

Your plan should first outline warning signs and triggers, i.e., what thoughts or feelings you know you have when you are suicidal. Beneath, we have collected some examples for you.

Warning signs

  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Apathy
  • Withdrawal
  • An unusual preoccupation with dying or death
  • Giving away personal possessions
  • Symptoms of depression, fundamental unhappiness
  • Mood fluctuation, elevated emotional lability
  • Distinct hopelessness
  • Distinct feelings of guilt and self-reproach
  • Expression of altruistic ideas of suicide or self-sacrifice
  • Severe sleep disturbances
  • Recent experience of loss
  • Acute or chronic traumatization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next should be coping strategies designed specifically for you. As trite as this sounds, meditation, breathing exercises, going for a walk, watching TV, or listening to music can be incredibly grounding.

 

You also want to include a list of reasons for living. “Those who are suicidal often forget about the positives in their life,” Jette Louise Larsen says. “However, having reasons written out can refocus their attention.” And good safety plans have contact information: for friends, therapists, psychiatrists, and crisis hotlines. My own plan names numerous people I can text, message, or call in order to make me feel better and safer. These are reminders that your network does exist and there are people who want and need you alive.

 

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