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What is a Safety Plan?

A safety plan is a list that sets out how someone would like to be supported and what they can do to help themselves when they feel in crisis or unable to keep themselves safe from harm. It’s also a good way of keeping important information and contacts together in one place and can be useful to share with those closest to you.

Try to make a plan when you can think clearly about what you find helpful. You might want to complete the plan with someone you trust, such as a friend or therapist. You could also give them a copy of the plan to keep.

This plan is personal to you, and may include:

  • how to recognise your warning signs
  • details of your own coping strategies, such as what has helped you cope in the past and what you can do to help yourself now
  • contact details of people you know who may be able to help
  • the names and contact details of professionals or agencies you can contact if you are in crisis
  • helplines and listening services that can help you in a crisis
  • steps you can take to make your immediate environment safe
  • details of a safe place you can go to, if you need to
  • affirmations and reasons to keep going

You might not like the idea of planning for something you hope won’t happen. But it could help to think about what you could do if you start to approach a crisis in the future and plan what kind of support you think you might want.

This is an empowering and positive step you can do for yourself.

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Dorset Mind is a self-funded local charity that helps people in Dorset experiencing mental health problems access the vital support they need. The charity is at the very heart of our communities shaping futures, changing and in some cases literally saving lives. 

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