If you find yourself struggling or feeling distressed with your thoughts and feelings, it can be helpful to create a plan to keep yourself safe.

It may help to print it off and look through it with your family, carers, and friends, who you would like to be aware of, and a part of, your plan. You can bring it to your appointments where we can work through it together and look at other things that would be helpful for you to include so it becomes your personal My Safety Plan.

We recognise children and young people have different needs, so some of our services have a tailored version of the My Safety Plan. This helps to ensure we are meeting our children and young people’s needs with a plan that best supports, and is most relevant to, them.

How to create your Safety Plan

If you sometimes struggle or feel distressed, it can be helpful to create a plan to keep yourself safe when your thoughts feel overwhelming. Here's what we suggest you include:

  1. These things cause me distress: 
  2. When I am distressed, this is what you’ll see:
  3. When I am distressed, I will try these things (What would you tell a friend to do who was feeling this way?)
  4. When I am distressed, this is how you can help me:

You can download a template here.

We've developed this video with the help of other young people who use the service, to help support you completing the My Safety Plan. You can do this yourself or with any trusted adults around you. This could be a parent or carer, teacher, someone from the Mindworks alliance or another professional.

Here are some other coping methods which young people tell us they find helpful

  • Talk to someone you feel comfortable with
  • You can ring or text one of our recommended helplines
  • Do something you enjoy eg drawing, writing, dancing, or watching a film
  • Do some light exercise eg going for a walk
  • Listen to music
  • Do some relaxation/mindful techniques.

Useful helplines and websites

There's lots of helpful advice, information and resources elsewhere on this website.

  • 24/7 Crisis Line for children, young people, and their families: call 0800 915 4644.
  • CYP Havens for over 10s.
  • Neurodevelopmental Out of Hours Advice Line for advice around behaviours or difficulties which could be related to autism or ADHD. The line is open from 5.00-11.00 pm 7 days a week. Please contact 0300 222 5755 to be transferred to the National Autistic Society or Barnardo’s.