Seth Gillihan wrote an article about the reasons why having a safety plan acts as a prevention strategy, and to me, they make sense.
Research back it up too. It’s not a perfect solution, but it is effective in lowering the statistics, and when we look at Seth’s reasons, they match up with some of the things we know about preventing suicide. Things like:
- Giving the patient self-determination in creating the plan
- Making it flexible and unique to the individuals
- Making yourself aware of early signs
- Communicating the plan to a therapist and trusted loved ones
We know that people who are aware of the signs early, remain connected to others, and have some level of self-determination are less likely to be lost to suicide. Making and sharing a safety plan accomplishes many of those same things and provides you with a plan of action to take in the event of danger. It is a no-lose situation.
There is more at the link above. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please read the whole thing.
So do you have a safety plan, and do others know the steps that should be taken and what signs to look for in your behavior? Why not?
If you or someone you love is contemplating suicide, seek help immediately. For help 24/7 dial 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. If you are outside of the US, check out the Find Help Page for a resource near you.