Insights On: Safety Planning

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Dr. Kai-ping Wang, Chief Medical Officer of High Focus Centers, identifies and defines Safety Planning as an important facet of mental health care often used to mitigate suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, symptoms of eating disorders, explosive anger or any intense emotions that could lead an individual to partake in unhealthy or dangerous behavior as a result of compromised judgment or reasoning ability.

Best developed under the guidance of a qualified medical professional such as a therapist or counselor, Safety Planning includes 6 distinct steps from identifying triggers to seeking a safe environment to contacting professionals that an individual can practice to lessen the effects of intense emotions if and when present to benefit themselves and/or their children.

Once created, Dr. Wang suggests identifying barriers as a way to test and strengthen the safety plan and utilization of a contract to represent a commitment to the safety plan.