Make a Plan to Save Your Own Life


It's not uncommon to have thoughts of suicide. One the best things you can do for yourself is to create a plan to get you through those tough moments when you feel like giving up. In the suicide prevention world, it’s called a safety plan. The gist is that when you find yourself struggling, you whip out the plan and go down the list of things to do, people to reach out to, and places to go until you have gotten out of your dark place.

ID Your Triggers

Write down all of the things that make you want to die. Maybe it’s a thought, such as, “I’m a loser,” or a situation that you hate, like fighting with a person you love. It could be feeling super depressed or regretting something you’ve done.

Use Your Coping Skills

Make a list of at least three things you can do by yourself to take your mind off of everything you just listed. Your coping strategies don’t have to be healthy; they just have to distract you for a little bit. Jot down as many as you can.

Know Your Safe Spaces

Think about places you can go where you feel safe—somewhere you can “reset” your mind. Maybe it’s a park, place of worship, or even the children’s section of a bookstore. Write down three.

Find Your People

Make a list of at least three people who you can talk to about anything, day or night. Write down their numbers. If you can’t think of three, call/text/chat with someone at a crisis hotline. 

Call On the Pros

Write down the names and numbers of your mental health pros, local hospital, and urgent- care facility. If you haven't already, include the numbers of crisis hotlines here.

Get Yourself Out Of Harm’s Way

Make a list of anything you might use to take your own life so you can tell someone about them when you are struggling. That might mean asking someone to hold on to your pill stash or gun for a while.

Remember Your Reasons For Living

Maybe it’s your family, your dream of becoming a famous photographer someday, or that you love listening to music. Whatever it is, write down what will keep you going when you feel like giving up.

Read more about how to have a happy and healthy life in Everything Is Going to Be OK, on sale September 17th.