Safety Planning – A Critical Intervention To Mitigate Suicide Risk

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Presented by Barbara Stanley, PhD, New York State Psychiatric Institute

In this talk, Stanley explains that while chronic suicide risk is addressed by treating underlying disorders, acute risk is addressed through the safety plan. A safety plan helps get people through their most intense periods of despair, so they will not act on their suicidal thoughts.

Watch now to learn more about:

  • Elements of suicide prevention
  • Components of suicide risk
  • The role of the safety plan in suicide prevention and how it works

Stanley explains how the safety plan is one piece of a larger system that helps people avoid engaging in suicidal behavior. With follow up, the safety plan can effectively decrease suicidal behavior, along with effective tools, such as psychotherapy, hospitalization, medications, brain stimulation, and other treatments.

The safety plan is an emergency plan: once it is implemented, patients just need to know what steps they need to take, so they do not have to generate solutions in a time of crisis.

The safety plan involves helping patients recognize as early as possible that they’re entering a suicidal state—providing them with a prescribed set of behaviors to engage in, and ensuring that they will work with clinicians in a collaborative effort to develop ways of coping during crises.