What is a safety plan, anyway?

Working with people who have mental health issues, we sometimes have to develop safety plans with a client when they are unable to keep themselves safe. This involves getting them the supervision and help that they need, 24-7. This might involve getting family members on board and locking up things like medications, kitchen knives and razors. It also means having emergency numbers in place along with an emergency plan if a person becomes agitated or intent on hurting themselves or someone else.

An emergency plan often involves, in an eminent crisis, calling the police. We all know we can call 911, but did you know you can ask the police to send their Crisis Intervention Team (C.I.T.)? Most police forces have a CIT team that is comprised of officers, and sometimes other professionals, that are specifically trained to deal with a crisis.

You can also educate yourself by taking a Mental First Aid course. Many of us take CPR and First Aid for physical health. Why not educate ourselves on how to deal with a mental health crisis.

Our clinicians our highly trained to deal with clients in crisis, but we are typically not the first person involved. The more of us that know how to help in a mental health crisis, the better for all of us.

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About the Author : Holly Jedlicka

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