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 Post subject: Safety Contracts
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:06 am 
orange is a state of mind
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:37 am
Posts: 2238
Location: Brisbane, Australia
There have been times in my life where I thought I just couldn’t go on any more. Things were too intense and I felt too helpless and weak to handle them. I have, in the past, acted on these feelings and urges. Thankfully, I was never successful in ending my own life. But, I have lost friends and loved ones to suicide. It is such a touchy and taboo subject. There is a fear that talking about suicide will put “ideas” into peoples heads. Or, others can’t handle to contemplate losing someone. Others still feel it is a sin to take ones own life. So to someone struggling with these thoughts and feelings it’s a daunting task to reach out and ask for help.

Something I have with my husband (and my therapists) is a Safety Contract. I also have a colour-coded safety scale that helps me illustrate to my partner where my mood is. When I hit red (critical) my safety contract comes in to play. I will give you an example of my safety contract that I use. Then, explain important components.

Please note that it is not appropriate to ask fellow WBB members to make the following contract with you. This is designed to be used with your Real Life support. This level of "responsibility" is not appropriate the kind of support given on this site

Quote:
I, Keira, agree that I will not harm myself, or try to take my own life, or commit suicide over the next 24 hour period.

If my mood is red on my safety scale, I agree to:

* Surrender any items that could be of harm to myself, to my husband
Such as but not limited to; medications, sharp objects, other objects that may be used
* To hand over my GoCard (travel card) and all money to my husband and agree to not leave the house alone
* To contact Dr C and/or Dr McM (my therapists) to make them aware of my increased suicidality
I will try the following 10 activities to try and “surf” the suicidal urge
1. Play a video game
2. Colour-in
3. Crochet
4. Watch a movie with my husband
5. Write a blog to Dr C (we have an arrangement where I can email him anytime)
6. Bake
7. Read a book
8. Play a board game with my husband
9. Tidy up
10. Look at funny videos/pictures on the internet

If I am unable to complete the activities I agree to call:
000 – Emergency services in Australia – and tell the operator I am suicidal
(07) xxxx xxxx – Psychiatric Emergency
04xx xxx xxx – Dr C – My private psychiatrist
I will stay on the phone with them until the suicidal ideation has reduced. If they recommend presenting to the hospital I allow my husband to take me there.
Signed,
Keira



This is my actual safety contract. It differs to others I have seen but I will point out a few important elements:

* I find I am unable to commit to a indefinite time-frame. By specifying 24 hours it feels more realistic. If, after 24 hours I feel the same, I renew the contract
* I have a clear indicator of when I need a contract – Red on my safety scale means I am having intrusive suicidal thoughts.
* I agree to have all means of self-harm taken away from me. I know I cannot trust myself to resist the temptation.
* I also know that I need to be with someone so I give away my means of transport (I do not drive)
* Before I start the distraction activities I still let my therapists know that I am struggling with suicidal thoughts. They often make a verbal contract with me as well or can start making arrangements for hospital, if needed.
* I have a list of things I can try to do to get through the urges. This list is from both personal experience, and suggestions from others
*I have the numbers of 3 places I can call for more intensive treatment
I have a mild phobia about using the telephone so I do not have a long list of people to call
I also agree to accept treatment and let my husband take me in…I am good at accepting treatment, even when overwhelmed, but I have given him permission to
take me even if I am ambivalent…

https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?ci ... parid=root <- This is a blank template for your use... in docx format. Feel free to download, redistribute, and use as you see fit.

Some other templates:
http://www.sprc.org/library/SafetyPlanTemplate.pdf
http://www.sprc.org/library/CrisisSupportPlan.pdf
http://www.suicide.org/no-suicide-contract-form.html

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Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you're just a reflection of him? Calvin and Hobbes
http://squirrelling4life.tumblr.com/
http://365recoverydays.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Contracts
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:34 am 
admin goddess from hell
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:10 am
Posts: 12362
Keira, thank you so much. This is a really important post, and I am going to copy it in the Skills subforum of WBB as well, as this is really vital information, not just for suicide, but also for members who struggle with self harm.

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Whispered words of wisdom,
Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: Safety Contracts
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:45 am 
post-mod squad

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:49 pm
Posts: 3844
Location: upper midwest
Thank you for this!

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At any given moment you have the power to say: This is NOT how the story is going to end.


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