Young, emerging adults who struggle with mental health issues can utilize skills they’ve learned to help better manage symptoms of mental health issues and live a life of better mental well-being. One skill set that can be learned and utilized involves creating a plan for mental health safety. A mental health safety plan includes means of keeping oneself safe when a crisis occurs or has the potential to occur.
Feeling as though managing symptoms of mental health issues is getting more challenging? It may be time to create a mental health safety plan. Anyone who is dealing with mental health issues should consider making a mental health safety plan just in case. But, it’s especially important for individuals who experience suicidal thoughts and ideation, depressive episodes, isolation due to mental health issues, and self-harming behaviors.
Mental health safety planning can be done on your own or with the help of a therapist or other mental health specialist. It can be helpful to write down your safety plan and go over this plan if you feel that you’re experiencing symptoms of mental health issues that may be unmanageable.
Here are some steps to include when developing your mental health safety plan:
There are certain things that can put your mental health in danger. These triggers and warnings differ from person to person, but knowing yours can mean understanding what to avoid and when to use your safety plan. Some examples of warning signs and triggers can include:
If you are experiencing any of these signs, this could give you a warning that you may want to begin to use your mental health safety plan and take the next steps toward safeguarding your mental health.
Once you’ve identified that something is triggering mental health issues or you’ve experienced triggers, you can work toward utilizing the coping skills that best work for you. Coping skills can help you overcome issues that you’re experiencing due to a mental health crisis. Some popular and useful coping skills include:
In times of mental health crisis, it should be part of your safety plan to remind yourself of what you’re grateful for and why life is worth living. This can include things like your loved ones, your pets, the things you have yet to accomplish, your favorite things to do, and upcoming events. Furthermore, it can be helpful to remind yourself of previous experiences in which you’ve experienced a mental health crisis and gotten through it. This can allow you to realize that what you’re going through is only temporary.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and your mental health safety plan doesn’t seem to work, it’s time to reach out to mental health professionals. These individuals can provide you with services that can help get you through these difficult moments. And, give you the support you need. For example, the mental health professionals at Yellowbrick can provide you with a safe environment and services in which to utilize in order to determine why you may be dealing with a mental health crisis. And, give you the tools you need to move past this moment with your life still intact.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.