We are excited to announce that this month, we are starting monthly meetings of the Suicide Prevention Coalition! Meetings will take place at 12pm on the 1st Wednesday of each month. We will begin meeting virtually since many local locations are still under COVID restrictions, but meetings will transition to in person once restrictions are lifted. Please follow this link to register to join the virtual meetings: https://mhalancaster.org/suicide-prevention-coalition-meetings/

In light of this exciting opportunity, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a preventative strategy, The Safety Plan, that can help to keep us and our loved ones safe from suicide.
 
How can a safety plan help?
 
AWARENESS: Problems can feel like they take us by surprise when they escalate, but if we look closely, we can often notice stressors and challenges that led to the escalation. By being aware, we can take preventative action at the first signs of crisis.
 
PREVENTION: Completing a safety plan can helps us to brainstorm people and coping skills we can lean into to prevent problems from escalating into a crisis in the first place.
 
KNOW YOUR RESOURCES: In crisis, we often can’t think as clearly, so making this plan now and collecting our supports in a singular, easily accessible location can help us to be prepared for times of need.
 
KNOW YOUR ALLIES: When our mental health is ill, we often feel alone, lost, confused, stuck. In creating this safety plan, you can start to identify and reach out to people who can be your allies during these dark times when we may not be thinking about the total picture.
 
What is in the safety plan?
A safety plan allows you to…
   1. Clearly identify warning signs that a crisis may be developing
   2. Activities YOU can do to cope and keep the problem from escalating
   3. People and settings who can provide a distraction
   4. People who may be able to help offer support or assistance
   5. Professionals you can call
   6. How to set up a safe environment.
 
Click the link to download and complete the plan yourself. A safety plan is also a working document, so revisit it to update it regularly and keep fresh on the information included.
 
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Brown_StanleySafetyPlanTemplate.pdf

Was this helpful? Share it with friends, family members, clients, staff, and your leaders to help us all have a safe place to turn when challenges arise.

Would you like to know more about the Suicide Prevention Coalition and how you can spread more education and volunteer to help break the stigma barriers around suicide?

Email Kay at kbela@mhalancaster.org to share your story and see how you can be part of breaking down barriers.
 
As always, be safe, reach out if you need support and we’ll be here.
Kay and the team at MHA Lancaster PA

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