Safety Planning

Mental health and personal safety are interconnected, both contribute to a foundation of stability and peace of mind.

Who is it for?

  • Anyone who has a moment of self-doubt, very low mood, or thoughts affecting their mental and physical safety.

  • Anyone who knows someone at risk of suicidal or self-harm thoughts or plans.

  • Anyone who would like to learn about tools and techniques boosting our mental and emotional wellbeing.

  • Health professionals who would like to explore individual safety planning with their patients or clients.

  • Parents, teachers and carers who would like to learn how to recognise the risk of self-harm or suicide in young people behaviour and how to actively support them.

Why is safety planning important?

People who experience acute anxiety, suicidal or self-harm crises often feel hopeless and trapped; they feel there is no hope that things will ever improve, and there is no escape from the pain. Tools, coping strategies, and resources that patients can use to break the cycle of dangerous thoughts can make a difference.

In order to manage self-harm and suicide risk, safety planning is recommended as best practice. Evidence shows that individuals who have received safety planning are less likely to engage in suicidal or self-harm behaviour by 43 per cent.

A safety plan needs to belong to the person who creates it. It is a very individual plan. Someone can help you develop it but ultimately you need to decide what goes into it, and what works for you.

A safety plan is a practical tool to help you keep safe. It focuses on managing thoughts of suicide and it is not a well-being plan or a long-term plan to deal with low mood. But do think about what support you might need to make changes, in the long run, to protect you from thoughts of suicide.

It needs to be a plan that is going to work for you. Make sure you have access to your plan when you need it. Have a copy on your phone and if you can, share it with relevant family, friends and professionals such as your GP or mental health worker. Review your plan every so often to check it’s still relevant.

Benefits of Joining Personal Safety Planning Sessions

Prevention and Preparedness: Personal safety planning is a proactive approach to prevent and mitigate risks. It involves identifying potential threats and having strategies in place to deal with them effectively.

Empowers Individuals: Having a safety plan can empower you to take control of your well-being by recognising the signs of danger and knowing what steps to take to ensure safety.

Reduces Anxiety: Knowing there is a plan in place to protect oneself can significantly reduce anxiety and stress, contributing positively to mental health.

Emergency Response: In case of an emergency or crisis, a safety plan ensures that you have important information and resources readily available, thereby minimising harm and facilitating a swift response.

Aids in Risk Assessment: Regularly updating a personal safety plan encourages ongoing assessment of one’s lifestyle and environment, leading to continuous improvements in personal safety practices.


By email:  

By text: You can also text us at 07871 600 310.

By phone: You can call us on 01786 477677.

By dropping in: HSTAR Scotland, 36-40 Cowane Street, Stirling, FK8 1JR (Mon-Fr 9 am- 4 pm).