Distress Planning

Use this template to create a distress plan that you can use when in crisis or emotional distress.

  1. Warning signs 
    • How will you know when this distress plan should be used? 
    • What do you experience when you start to think about suicide or feel in emotional distress? 
      • Examples: thoughts, images, thinking processes, mood, behaviors
  2. Internal coping strategies
    • What can you do, on your own, to help yourself calm down when in emotional distress or not act on your suicidal thoughts or urges? 
      • Problem solving to uncover road blocks to coping
      • Identifying coping skills
  3. Social contacts who may distract from the crisis/distress
    • Who or what social settings help you take your mind off your problems at least for a little while? 
      • Safe places to be around people (i.e. coffee shop) 
      • List several people and settings in case the first is unavailable
  4. Family or friends who may offer help 
    • Among your family or friends, who do you think you could contact for help during a crisis or a time when you're in emotional distress? 
      • List and prioritize several people 
      • Practice what you would say to these contacts
  5. Professionals or agencies to contact for help 
    • Who are the mental health professionals that you can call in times of emotional distress? 
      • List names, phone numbers, and locations
      • Make sure to include us! You can reach FKB staff 24/7 at 1-866-728-7983
  6. Making the environment safe
    • If you are having thoughts of suicide or self-injury, what means do you have access to and may use? 
    • How can you go about developing a plan to limit your access to these means? 
      • Can you throw away the means or ask a family member, friend, or police officer to remove them? 
  7. What makes life worthwhile? 

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