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Safety Plan

When you feel that a client is at risk of suicide or self-harm, but they have not reached the level of severity required for involuntary hospitalization, it's common practice to create a Safety Plan.

An effective safety plan will help clients understand their personal red flags that tell them they need to seek help. In less dire situations, coping skills might be enough. For the times when they need something more, this handout includes a space to list who they can reach out to (whether a friend, family member, or professional). This safety plan comes with several phone numbers for suicide hotlines in the United States, including one for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Safety plans should be used carefully, and with sound clinical judgment. Remember to complete a thorough assessment of suicidality first.

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1. Brown, G., & Stanley, B. (2009). Safety planning guide: A quick guide for clinicians.

2. Stanley, B., & Brown, G. K. (2012). Safety planning intervention: a brief intervention to mitigate suicide risk. Cognitive and behavioral practice, 19(2), 256-264.

3. The lifeline and 988. Lifeline. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2022, from

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