DrDan’s Toolkit – Safety Plans: Review

We’ve reached the end of my series on the Safety Plan as a brief suicide intervention. The Safety Plan has a distinct advantage over the no-harm/no-suicide contract because the Safety Plan helps patients develop a plan for how to care for themselves while the no-harm/no-suicide contract is a “promise” not to try to end their life.

The Safety Plan is often a collaborative effort between the healthcare professional and the patient or client, developing the lists of options for each step.  One of the aspects of SPI that I really like is that the plan is developed when the patient is not in acute crisis and is available to use when they are in crisis.

The Safety Plan consists of 6 steps:

Recognition of warning signs

Internal coping strategies

Socialization strategies for distraction and support

Social contacts for assistance in resolving suicidal crises

Professional and agency contacts to help resolve suicidal crises

Means restriction

For a copy of the Safety Plan form or for the manual, go to suicidesafetyplan.com and request access.  The Safety Plan form is also included in the manual, along with ‘brief instructions’ which are very helpful.  The manual is for the VA, but can be used in any setting.

Remember that the Safety Plan can be completed either on paper, as referenced above, or there are at least 2 apps available for smartphones or tablets.  The 2 apps are named MY3 and Safety Plan.  Both are free and available from the Apple app store or Google Play.

If you are interested in my upcoming trainings or my new online training format, or want to review my CV, please visit my website at criticalconcepts.org.

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