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A safety plan is a list of things to help reduce a person's risk of suicide. This is a tool to help those who struggle with suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming themselves to survive.


To make your own safety plan, read the following steps and record your safety plan somewhere that you can review when you have thoughts of suicide.

Writing with Pen

Step 1
Warning Signs

One of the most effective ways of preventing suicidal crisis is to address the problem in its early stages. Write down the sorts of thoughts, images, thinking processes, moods, situations, or behaviors that can lead you to a crisis.


  • I am spending a lot of time by myself

  • I am avoiding other people

  • I am not doing activities that I usually do

  • I think that I am a failure

  • I feel like things aren't going to get better

Step 2
Internal Coping Strategies

For this step, write down things you can do to take your mind off problems without contacting another person. Ask yourself, "What can I do on my own to help myself not to act on suicidal thoughts or urges?" Think of activities you can do to help take your mind off your problems, even if it is just for a brief period of time. 


Going for a walk, listening to music, going online, taking a shower, playing with a pet, exercising, reading, doing chores

Step 3
Reasons to Live

When you are having suicidal feelings, it may be easier to see all the negatives in your life and not see any of the positives. Writing your reasons to live will help you refocus your attention on the reasons to keep going until your suicidal thoughts and feelings pass.


  • I want to live to see my little brother grow up

  • I want to raise my children

  • I want to stick around for my pets

Step 4
People and Social Settings That Can Be Distractions

Write down who or what helps you feel good when you socialize with them. You don't have to tell them about your suicidal feelings. The point is just to spend some time with people, places, or activities that can help take your mind off your problems, even for a little while.

Step 5
People Whom I Can Ask For Help

Write down who among your family or friends you could contact for help during a crisis. These are people you can share at least some of your feelings and thoughts with and who would offer some help. List their name and phone number so you can contact them quickly during a crisis.


  • Boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or spouse

  • Sibling

  • Parent

  • Close friend

  • Religious or spiritual leader

  • Co-worker

Step 6
Professionals I Can Contact During a Crisis

Write down these agencies that are trained to give you help:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline (Call 24 hours a day)


National Crisis Text Line (Text 24 hours a day)
Text "HOME" to 741741

The 24-Hour Hawaii Access Crisis Line
Oahu: (808) 832-3100  /  Neighbor Islands: 1-800-753-6879

For more professional resources, visit our Finding Help section.

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