How to Make a Suicide Safety Plan

  1. Recognize the warning signs

What thoughts, images, moods, situations, and behaviors indicate to you that a crisis may be developing?

2. Use your own coping strategies

List things that you can do on your own to help you not act on urges to harm yourself.

3. Socialize with others who may offer support as well as distraction from the crisis

List people and social settings that may help take your mind off of difficult thoughts or feelings.

4. Contact family members or friends who may help to resolve a crisis.

Make a list of people who are supportive and who you feel you can talk to when under stress.

5. Contact mental health professionals or agencies

Make a list of names, numbers and/or locations of clinicians, local emergency rooms, and crisis hotlines. Put the Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255(HELP) into your phone.

6. Ensure your environment is safe

Have you thought of ways in which you might harm yourself? Work with a counselor to develop a plan to limit your access to these means.



Why Do I Need a Safety Plan?


Do you have any weapons or prescription medications in the house?”

Ask the person if they have access to any lethal means (weapons, medications, etc.) and help remove them from the vicinity. (Another friend, family member or law enforcement agent may be needed to assist with this.)

Do not put yourself in danger; if you are concerned about your own safety, call 911.

“Is there someone you can call if you think you may act on your thoughts of suicide?”

Create a safety plan together. Ask the person what will help keep them safe until they meet with a professional.

“Will you promise me that you will not drink or at least have someone monitor your drinking until we can get you help?”

Ask the person if they will refrain from using alcohol and other drugs or agree to have someone monitor their use.

“Please promise me that you will not harm yourself or act on any thoughts of suicide until you meet with a professional.”

Get a verbal commitment that the person will not act upon thoughts of suicide until they have met with a professional.


Additional Materials


Here is an example of a safety plan…

Source: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(Link to app resource flyer)


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Help yourself

Help yourself (more)