Safety Planning Intervention
A brief intervention for reducing suicide risk

About Safety Planning

The purpose of the Safety Planning Intervention is to provide people who are experiencing suicidal ideation with a specific set of concrete strategies to use in order to decrease the risk of suicidal behavior. The safety plan includes coping strategies that may be used and individuals or agencies that may be contacted during a crisis. The Safety Planning Intervention is a collaborative effort between a treatment provider and a patient and takes about 30 minutes to complete. The basic steps of a safety plan include (a) recognizing the warning signs of an impending suicidal crisis; (b) using your own coping strategies; (c) contacting others in order to distract from suicidal thoughts; (d) contacting family members or friends who may help to resolve the crisis; (e) contacting mental health professionals or agencies; and (f) reducing the availability of means to complete suicide.


Some places where the Safety Planning Intervention is being used:

  • Veterans' Health Administration
  • State Mental Health Systems (including NY and Georgia)
  • Military Behavioral Health Systems
  • Crisis Hotlines
  • Hospital Emergency Departments
  • College Counseling Centers
  • High School Counseling
  • Outpatient Clinics and Private Practices



For more detailed information about the Safety Planning Intervention, please see the Stanley and Brown (2012) article below:

Safety Planning Article from
Cognitive & Behavior Practice

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