Supporting yourself through crisis
Many of us have had times when we have felt out of control. In certain situations or contexts, we couldn’t find coping mechanisms that worked. Sometimes, suicide may have felt like our only option. You are not alone in this.
Knowing ways to support yourself when you are navigating these thoughts can empower you to take the actions you need to keep yourself safe.
Here are some suggestions of ways you can support yourself when experiencing thoughts and feelings of suicide.
If you are in immediate physical danger and are at risk of serious injury, reach out for immediate support by calling 000. If you are in need of crisis support, please contact a 24/7 crisis service.
Create a safety plan
If you have experienced suicidal crisis before, you may have had negative experiences seeking services or emergency support. Involuntary treatment, non-affirming interactions or unexpected reactions from services may prevent you reaching out for further support now and in the future.
It is important that you feel empowered to ask for the support you need when you are feeling this way and cared for when you do so.
Some things to consider when making a safety plan:
Who do I trust to reach out to when I need support?
What care treatments or facilities am I comfortable engaging with? Which ones am I not?
What signs, feelings, and thoughts suggest I need someone to step in to support me?
Are there previous interventions that worked such as breathing, weighted blankets, sensory products etc.
Inform others of your safety plan
Trusting others to support you while you are in crisis can be difficult. Sharing a safety plan with the people you trust may provide some relief when you don’t know what to do. A safety plan helps give direction and steps for others to follow when you are in a distressed state too.
Share your safety plan with the people you trust. This may be a friend, a counsellor or a peer worker. Ensuring that everyone is on board with how you can be supported will make it easier to ask for help.
Consider who you feel comfortable asking for support. It may be friends, family or a doctor or therapist, or it may be a peer with lived experience. Reach out to these people and work together to create a safety plan.
Know what support feels safe to you
Consider who you feel comfortable asking for support. It may be friends, family or a doctor or therapist, or it may be a peer with lived experience. Reach out to these people and work together to create a safety plan. Some things to consider are:
Who can be there when you are in crisis?
Who can you talk to and who can support you through this process?
Consider who you have in your life that you feel comfortable to talk to and lean on
Do you need to speak to a support service?
What can you do to soothe and nurture yourself? (Taking care of yourself.docx)
There are services out there who can support you through these feelings
Create a calm and safe environment
Your physical environment is important when you are experiencing crisis. Re-locate to a space that feels safer for you might be helpful, or you can find things to bring into the space to create a sense of calm. Things to consider:
How can you make your environment feel safer?
What items, smells or sounds feel calming to you?
Do you need practical support such as cleaning or meals?
Who could you ask to be there with you?