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Safety Plan for youth having thoughts of suicide

 Click here to download a printable version of the information from this page.

A safety plan can help keep you safe, if you are feeling overwhelmed and having thoughts of ending your life. Making a plan like this will help you to understand yourself better, keeping you safer. It’s important to share this plan with your parents and people close to you, so they can support you. If your needs or triggers change, revise your safety plan with your counsellor or therapist. If you don’t have one, call your local Youth Crisis Line for help. If you’re still having trouble keeping yourself safe, you can always come back. Some youth like to get creative with their safety plans. Use art, music, scrapbooking or writing-whatever helps you to express yourself!

My triggers

What are some things that set me off?

How can I manage my triggers?  

My warning signs

What are my warning signs that tell me I’m starting to get overwhelmed? (for example, withdrawing from others or sleeping more)

  • Thoughts: for example, thinking:
    • negative, dark thoughts;
    • that things will never get better
    • about ways to harm yourself
  • Emotions: example: starting to feel hopeless, guilty or angry
  • Body Sensations: example: a racing heart, feeling that I’m suffocating or becoming overwhelmed
  • Behaviours: example: pacing, spending a lot of time sleeping, spending a lot of time alone

My coping strategies

What are some helpful things that will take my mind off the problem? (for example, going for a walk, calling a close friend to just vent, watching a movie, sleeping)

Reasons for living

Who are the people or animals I live for? (for example: mother, father, brother, sister, friends, relatives or pets)

What are other things I have to live for? (for example: remembering that things will get better one day, future goals like school, career, travel or family goals)

Sometimes, when people are feeling sad, they have a hard time seeing the reasons for living. If this is the case for you right now, what are some reasons that others might point out for you?

My support network

Who are main people that I can turn to for support if I am overwhelmed? (people to whom I can say, "Hey, I’m not feeling good right now, I really need someone to talk to… I don’t need advice, I just need you to listen… Can we talk?")

Think about people in your life who can support you...

  • Someone to spend time with to take my mind off things
  • Someone who can help with practical things (for example, like taking me to appointments)
  • Someone who is a good listener

Crisis plan and resources

If no one is available, what are the local telephone crisis lines in my area? Check the ones you like best.

  • Child, Youth and Family Crisis Line for Eastern Ontario 613-260-2360 or toll-free, 1-877-377-7775
  • Kids help phone (Live chat also available) 1.800.668.6868  
  • Good2Talk: 1-866-925-5454 (for college and university students in Ontario).
  • Ottawa and Region Distress Centre: 613-238-3311
  • Youth Service Bureau 24/7 Crisis line: 613-260-2360  
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