Personal safety plan

June 2019
This resource relates to the following topics:

This personal safety plan allows you to keep a record of the things you can do and the people you can contact to keep yourself safe if you are feeling really bad.

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June 2019
Booklet A5
HE code

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NOTE: To order this free resource, please visit the Mental Health Foundation's online shop.

“Deep down you will know how to help yourself.”

Michalea, 34

My own survival plan

It can help to make your own plan for what to do when things feel really bad.

Try to find a time when you’re feeling calm to make your plan. You could ask a friend or a health professional to help you write it.

Write your own answers to each question. Be really honest with yourself about what you need and what works for you. There are some examples on each page to help you think of different ideas.

For more information, check out the booklet ‘Having suicidal thoughts and finding a way back’ that goes with this.

Noticing what’s going on

  • Withdrawing from whānau and friends
  • Feeling like a burden
  • Feeling like I can't cope
  • Losing interest in things I usually enjoy
  • Drinking to cope with difficult thoughts and feelings
  • Getting into arguments
  • Feeling like I don't deserve help
  • Sleeping a lot more than usual, or not getting enough sleep

How do my thoughts, moods or behaviours change when things get really bad?

What are my warning signs that tell me I should take action?

My reasons to live

  • My religion or spirituality
  • My pets
  • My children or mokopuna
  • Things I haven't done yet, that I'm looking forward to
  • My job or volunteer work
  • Something I believe in
  • Someone I love
  • My whānau or friends

When I’m feeling bad, what are the things I can remember that are worth living for?

Keeping safe

  • Get someone to stay with me
  • Give my car keys to a friend
  • Avoid people who hurt or upset me
  • Get rid of things I might use to hurt myself – throw them away, lock them up or give them to friends

How can I make my environment safer, or take myself out of unsafe situations?

What I can do by myself?

  • Waiata alone if I can’t face being with anyone
  • Write down how I am feeling
  • Play with a pet
  • Do some exercise
  • Practice breathing exercises or meditation
  • Have a coffee
  • Watch a movie
  • Do some gardening
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Treat myself to a small thing I usually enjoy
  • Go for a walk
  • Listen to music

How can I distract myself from these thoughts?

What are some things I’ll be able to do even when I’m feeling really low?

Who can I connect with?

  • Hang out in a public place, like a café, library or a busy park
  • Call, txt, message, or go and visit a friend
  • Spend time with my whānau
  • Find a support group or community centre

Who can I be around that will help lift my mood?

Where can I go to connect with other people?

Make a list of supportive people you can talk to and their contact details.

If you’re working with a doctor, counsellor or peer support worker, write their details down too.

If you don’t know who you can talk to, try phoning a helpline or texting a text counselling service (details are below).

Who can I call or visit? What are their contact details?

P.S Take a picture of this on your phone.

The following services offer free support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can also connect you to other places and people that can help.

Need to talk?
Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor, any time

0800 543 354 for counselling and support or free text 4357 for counselling and support

0800 726 666 for someone who will listen

Depression Helpline
0800 111 757 or free text 4202 to talk to a trained counsellor

0800 376 633, free text 234 or email
For youth, whānau and friends

You’ll find other helpful information at