Suicide Safety Plan

Any individual with a history of suicide attempts or who experiences strong thoughts of suicide should develop a safety plan to reduce the chances of acting on suicidal impulses.
 
bulletA Bipolar Help Contract is one way of reducing the risk of suicide.
 
bulletRemove from the house, car etc all means of committing suicide impulsively.  This includes guns, rope, sharp knives, large amounts of pills and many other things.  Search the house for potentially life threatening items and dispose of them.
 
bulletHelp Your family member/friend make a plan for LIFE!
 
bulletHave them make a list of trusted friends to contact (in order of priority) if suicidal thoughts begin to intrude.
 
bulletHave them make a list of warning signs that indicate a depressive state is being entered and the symptoms of suicidal ideation are being entertained.
 
bulletAsk what they would say to a close friend who was contemplating suicide?  Have them write the answer down then follow their own advice.
 
bulletTake them or suggest they talk to a mental health professional
 
bulletRecognize symptoms for what they are ... try to keep in perspective that they are coming from severe depression and will not last forever.
 
bulletSuggest they keep a daily journal of your thoughts
 
bulletAdvise them to avoid drugs and alcohol
 
bulletLearn to recognize the earliest signs of suicidal thinking.
 
bulletKnow when its time to take them to the hospital
 
bulletFollow your instincts.  If you feel your friend or family member may act soon on impulse make sure someone is with him/her at all times.
 
bulletMany people who take their life have given clear indications of their intention - don't make the mistake of thinking they won't talk about it.
 
bulletBe suspicious if the person makes a point of saying goodbye or giving away possessions.
 
bulletSuicidal individuals are completely consumed with pain.  Don't offer trite solutions or reasons to go on living
 
bulletFinally - don't be afraid to express your own feelings - if you are sad, frightened or angry say so.

 

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