POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 109 How to co-develop a Safety Plan Co-developing a safety plan involves a collaborative, in-depth conversation between the person experiencing thoughts of suicide and their caregiver or friend. Go over each step together, thoroughly and thoughtfully (Berk & Clarke, 2019). There may be times where, through organic or structured conversation, you will identify potential safety plan items for the person – bring these into the plan! For example, if someone mentions that they need to get home to spend time with their dog, that is a potential reason to live.You can suggest adding the positive things you hear coming from that person at any point. How to implement a Safety Plan Once complete, you and the person who has had thoughts of suicide should keep copies of the safety plan in an accessible place.The safety plan needs to be handy so that the person can always find it when they are experiencing intense thoughts of suicide. Some people choose to always keep their plan with them, e.g. on their phone or in their wallet. Each step in the safety plan plays a role in supporting the person with thoughts of suicide, as well as yourself, and other friends and caregivers. Refer to the “Suicide safety plan” for how and when to implement each step. Keep in mind that the safety plan is not written in stone: it can be revised as often as is needed.The plan can be reviewed at any time, and especially if the person experiencing thoughts of suicide has found any portion of it ineffective in helping them cope with their thoughts. For example, if one contact person was found to be difficult to get in touch with on several occasions, or if a coping strategy is no longer effective or accessible. A comprehensive safety plan template can be found on the next page. Safety plans to prevent suicide (continued) “You talked about how excited your dog is to see you when you get home earlier. Can you tell me a bit more about him?”Then, “It sounds like he’s really important to you. Do you think we could add him onto your safety plan as a reason for living, or as a reason that you’re still alive?” Need Help Now? The hotlines are toll-free and available to help 24/7, or go to your closest emergency department. Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line 1-888-429-8167 Kids Help Phone 1-800-666-6868 Text CONNECT to 686868 Emergency 911