Now it’s time to put everything together.
We’re going to do something called safety planning. That basically means planning for what to do in a suicidal situation before you’re in crisis, and writing it down.
The good news is that if you’ve been doing the worksheets in this mini-course, then you’ve already done the work!
“There is always a part of my mind that is preparing for the worst, and another part of my mind that believes if I prepare enough for it, the worst won’t happen.”
– KR Jamison
“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
You now have a basic safety plan which can help you keep things stable even when it looks like the crisis is developing.
There are some ways to further improve your plan by thinking ahead to prevent a crisis from developing, adding specific skills for taking a pause when things are heating up, and ways to manage intense emotions.
I recommend the guidance on safety planning that can be found at NowMattersNow.org
Honestly, I think creating a crisis plan is a royal pain, but it’s also one of the most useful things I’ve done for my own care and it’s been extremely useful to have when I’ve had to help someone else.
It’s not fun to think through these things and write them down. On the other hand, it is beyond frustrating to have to search for phone numbers or try to explain to someone what helps me while I’m in a crisis mode.
Having a good plan comes in handy. It’s easier for the person trying to help me, it’s easier for me, and it makes it much more likely that I’ll get the help and support I would prefer.
The Safety Planning Intervention is an evidence-based approach for helping people prepare for crisis that has been adopted in many settings including being used by crisis call centers. The process is built on solid theory and prior research, and it works.
The version that has been created by NowMattersNow adds coping skills from DBT, which is a very successful suicide prevention approach and it in employs research by Dr. Whiteside.