CCWS Crisis Safety Plan

Crisis Safety Plan

Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash

The holidays are upon us and as such, it can sometimes feel like we are drowning. We all go through rough periods, often times unexpectedly. If you are already struggling with mental illness or have a lot of stress in your life, this can increase your vulnerability during times of crisis. The outline below guides you through the development of an informal safety plan to be referenced in times of need. Complete this plan now so that you have it ready to go should it be needed. It can also be helpful to review it with your doctor or therapist if you have the chance.

Step 1: Identify your personal warning signs by answering the question “I know that I could be heading for a crisis when I experience….” (e.g. crying spells, isolating from others, feeling “crazy” in general)

  1. _____________________________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________________________
  3. _____________________________________________________________

Step 2: Identify your go-to coping and distress tolerance skills by answering the questions, “What makes me feel better when I begin to struggle” and “What can I do to feel better now, without making things worse in the long-run?” (e.g. use distraction coping skills, journal, go for a walk)

  1. _____________________________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________________________
  3. _____________________________________________________________

Step 3: Identify your supports by answering the questions, “who can I trust to talk to about what I’m going through,” or “who could help distract me from this immediate crisis long enough to begin feeling better?” (e.g. a parent, friend, pastor, etc.) Include their names and phone numbers below:

  1. _____________________________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________________________
  3. _____________________________________________________________

Step 4: Identify places to go to ensure safety by answering, “where do I feel safe and good,” and “where is a place that will provide distraction and/or fun?” (e.g. the movies, church, a local park, etc.)

  1. _____________________________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________________________
  3. _____________________________________________________________

Step 5: If all of the above is ineffective and you believe that you might be a danger to yourself or others, it’s time to increase the intensity of the plan as follows:

  1. Call your doctoror therapist: ___________________________________
  2. Call, text, or online chat with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (available 24/7): 1-800-273-8255 and/or https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
  3. Go to the nearest Emergency Department– they will connect you with a mental health professional for an assessment and treatment if needed
  4. Call 9-1-1if your safety is in imminent danger

There is only one you. There will never be another. No matter how low you are feeling now, you are still a unique, important and valuable being. Don’t do something permanent when there truly is hope and help out there for you. You matter!

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Download a printable version of this safety plan here: CCWS Crisis Safety Plan

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