What is safety planning?
Having thoughts of suicide can feel overwhelming. You may find it really hard to know what to do, or be in so much emotional pain you don't think you can cope.
At times like these, hurting yourself or ending your life might feel like the only answer.
A safety plan can be helpful during these times. It puts all your coping tools in a series of steps:
- Recognising your warning signs
- Making your surroundings safe
- Reminders of reasons to live
- Things that can make you feel strong
- People and places to connect with
- Family and friends you can talk or yarn with
- Professional support
Research has shown having a safety plan can be useful for reducing the intensity of suicidal thoughts and increasing people’s ability to cope with them.
While everyone's plan is personal and different, it can help in the same way.
What is Beyond Now?
Beyond Blue developed the Beyond Now app to help you make your own safety plan to support you through times of sadness or grief. You can make it on your phone and carry it with you to access anywhere and anytime.
The app guides you through, step-by-step, with suggestions at each stage if you get stuck. You can work through this process by yourself, but it’s better if a family member, an Elder, health professional or support person works with you to make your plan. You can update it anytime and easily share it with others if you want.
Beyond Now is free to download from the Apple Store or Google Play and if you don’t have a smartphone, it’s also online.
Beyond Now is designed to be used as part of an overall mental wellbeing and safety strategy. It is not intended to be the only form of support.
I first heard about safety planning with my psychologist…instead of going into the great depth of the planning of how to suicide, it’d be a good idea to have an alternate plan, one to stay alive.
I shared my Beyond Now app with my partner and my mother. I know it's important for them to understand my warning signs as much as myself, because I'm not always going to be the person that picks it up.
You never know when you're gonna start feeling depressed...if you've got a list of things that you know are going to make you feel better, that's at least one way to start.
When I was struggling with my mental health, it took a number of goes of me seeing different people before I said to someone I don't actually know what to do and we came up with a plan and we wrote it down...You can just have it right there [and it's] really accessible.
2017 - Evaluation of Beyond Now (Version 1)
This first evaluation of the Beyond Now app, completed in 2017, was commissioned by Beyond Blue from a team at Monash University's Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology. It aimed to describe the demographics of app users and perceptions of app utility. A total of 1,672 app users completed an online survey, including 39 users who downloaded the app on behalf of someone else and 75 health professionals who downloaded the app to use with clients. High usefulness and ease-of-use ratings were reported by all app users.Download the 2017 Beyond Now Evaluation Report
The second evaluation of the Beyond Now app, completed in 2021, was commissioned by Beyond Blue from a team led by Deakin University's School of Psychology. It aimed to determine the extent to which Beyond Now is culturally appropriate for First Nations Peoples and LGBTIQA+ peoples and to determine any cultural barriers or enablers which influence use. A total of 668 app users completed an online survey, and a further 28 participants were interviewed or took part in focus groups. Participants reported high levels of engagement and satisfaction in Beyond Now and perceived it to be inclusive and neutral in its handling of gender and sexuality, and culturally appropriate and inclusive. Areas for improvement to allow increased engagement and dissemination, and reduction of barriers were identified.
Beyond Now was developed by Beyond Blue and Monash University in collaboration with people who have experience with suicidal thoughts or a suicidal crisis.
Beyond Blue would like to acknowledge Professor Barbara Stanley and Professor Greg Brown for developing the concept of safety planning, and Dr Glenn Melvin, the software development team at Two Bulls, and Marcus Lee Designs for their valuable contributions to this project.
This Beyond Blue project was originally funded by donations from the Movember Foundation.
Beyond Blue acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land on which our Head Office is based. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and as an organisation with national reach we extend our respect to all Elders and First Nations Peoples across Australia.
Beyond Blue is grateful for the generous input of a number of First Nations Peoples community members and representatives from Health Services and organisations which has helped shape the design and content of Beyond Now.