A suicide safety plan can help if you find yourself thinking suicidal thoughts. It can help you better manage these feelings and assist you with getting the right support.
Where do I start when working out a suicide safety plan?
Work with someone you trust to develop your suicide safety plan. This could be a close friend, family member, your doctor or counsellor. It is a good idea to get these people involved, since you may need to call on them, and it is important that they know the best way to care for you.
It is also best to create the plan at a time when you are feeling well and thinking clearly, rather than waiting until you are feeling overwhelmed and suicidal. Put your suicide safety plan in writing and keep it in a place where you can easily find it.
Information to include in your suicide safety plan
- When the plan should be used. Familiarise yourself with what types of situations, thoughts and feelings might lead to suicidal urges for you. List the warning signs so that you can refer to them when you are deciding on whether to activate your plan.
- What you can do to calm/comfort yourself when you are feeling suicidal. List the activities that you know will soothe and comfort you when you are upset.
- Create a list for yourself of all your reasons for living. When you are feeling suicidal, it is easy to get caught up in the pain you are feeling and forget the positives in your life. Your list may help you to refocus your attention until the suicidal feelings pass.
- Who you can talk to. List names and contact details and include back-ups in case your first choice is unavailable.
- Who you can talk to if you need professional assistance. Create a list of professional resources available to you, along with their contact details and availability.
- How you can make your environment safe. This may involve removing or securing any items that you are likely to use to hurt yourself and not doing things that you know make your feelings stronger or longer lasting.
- What you can do if you are still not feeling safe. Keep the name and address of your nearest hospital emergency department or telephone crisis line.
- Make a safety plan commitment. The last step is to make a commitment to your safety plan. This means committing to yourself that you will follow this plan when the need arises, and then committing aloud to someone else (e.g. your counsellor, a trusted friend) that you will follow this plan. This is also called “a safety contract.”
Download the ReMinder app
On the Line has launched ReMinder – a suicide safety plan that you can download onto your Android or Apple phone to create a simple plan that can be accessed at any time.
ReMinder is a self-managed resource for users to adopt as part of their own coping strategy. Please note that the information on the ReMinder app is not accessible or viewable by our counsellors, nor can they offer any technical advice.
- Access helplines and emergency service numbers
- Create your own team of personal contacts
- Store your favourite images
- Change the ReMinder theme for a calming influence
- Update your mood on a daily basis
- Complete a K10 questionnaire to determine what extent you have experienced depression or anxiety over the past month
- Follow the latest tweets from the Suicide Call Back Service for further information and advice on suicide safety.
Accessing professional support
Feeling suicidal can be an overwhelming and painful experience, but it is not something you have to bear alone. Asking for help is an important step towards getting the support you need.
In an emergency
If you are in immediate danger, or concerned for your safety in any way:
- Call 000 and request an ambulance. Stay on the line, speak clearly, and be ready to answer the operator’s questions.
- Attend your local hospital’s emergency department.
- Call your local Public Emergency Mental Health Service.
Each of these emergency services teams are specially trained to support people in crisis – including people who are feeling suicidal – and are able to keep you safe.
There are a number of services and professionals available to help you through this difficult time. You may wish to speak to someone over the phone, or prefer to seek help face to face. Whichever you choose, it’s important that you are as honest about your situation and the way you’re feeling as possible, so you can get the support you need. Talking to someone about such a painful issue can be difficult, so you may want to check out our suicide prevention pages for information and tips on how to start a conversation.
Need help? You can find support services in northern Queensland or complete a self-administered K10 test for depression and anxiety. You can also join the online social and mental health forum to talk with like-minded people.