How to Create a Suicide Safety Plan
By Katie Hurley, LCSW
If you are having suicidal thoughts or have had suicidal behaviors or a past suicide attempt, it is really important to create a safety plan to help you anytime you are really struggling or feel unsafe.
A safety plan includes a list of resources you can access when you have suicidal thoughts, but it can also include affirmations, instructions for how to reframe your thinking, and a short list of things that give you hope on good days.
Check out this template for creating a safety plan.
Add These Resources
- The name and phone number of your doctor.
- The name and number of your therapist if you have one, or for your school counselor.
- 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which you can text, call, or chat.
- Crisis Text Line, which you can reach by texting HOME to 741-741.
- Info to reach your parent or guardian.
Put in Affirmations, Reframing, and Hope
When you feel supported and calm, write down a few affirmations to repeat to yourself when you feel low. These may include phrases like:
- “I have support and someone will help me.”
- “I am loved and supported.”
Write down this reframing exercise:
- I feel [insert feeling] because [insert trigger]. This feeling is temporary. I can call [insert person] to support me, and that will help me manage these emotions.
Add a hope list, which can include big things, such as events you’re looking forward to, or little things, such as day-to-day activities that make you feel positive.
Keep Your Plan With You
A safety plan can be stored in your phone to share with someone you trust when you have suicidal feelings. It can feel overwhelming to share these feelings as they’re happening, but showing your safety plan to someone who can help is a good way to get immediate support and help.
The most important thing to know is that there is help and hope available. It may feel scary to say “suicide” out loud, but, when you do, you will discover you are no longer alone and you can find your way forward to feeling better.
Other Places to Find Support
- Teen Line, an anonymous, nonjudgmental space for youth. Call 800-852-8336 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. PST each night. You can also text TEEN to 839-863.
- The Trevor Project, which specializes in supporting LGBTQ youth. Text START to 678-678 or call 866-488-7386.
- Trans Lifeline: Call 1-877-565-8860