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Mental Health Safety Plans

24/7 NHS mental health response line for support and advice

Call us free on 0800 038 5300, any time day or night if you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health. The team behind our 24/7 open access telephone response line will listen to you and determine how best to help.

A Mental Health Safety Plan is a preventative tool designed to help support those who struggle with mental wellbeing. It may be difficult to think clearly when you feel really low or incredibly overwhelmed. It may be difficult to ignore these feelings. Safety plans are best created when not in crisis. 

By having a safety plan, you’re making sure that there are strategies you can use to keep yourself safe. These can help you feel more in control when everything feels out of control. Think of your safety plan as your ‘mental health first-aid kit’. It includes different things that will help you through a crisis.

Due to the current circumstances, we are unable to send Z Cards out to individuals or to organizations, we will update you as soon as this changes.  Please email the Public Health desk via phdesk@cornwall.gov.uk with any questions about using Mental Health Safety Plans. 

If you would like to, you can use a Safety Plan App instead of a paper based version. Download either of these apps for free from your smartphone or tablet app store:

Stay Alive app

My3 app

Safety Plan app

If you're interested in using other apps to support you with your mental health, the following have been designed to help with anxiety, depression, self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

If you've been using our Safety Plans, or you've used other Safety Plans in the past, we'd like to know your feedback. You can do this on our Mental Health safety plans survey.

Please find below some recorded training for our Mental Health Safety Plans. Read the transcript for the video.

Zero Suicide Alliance

Suicide - Let's Talk (Duration 20min)

The aims of this training are to:

  • enable people to identify when someone is presenting with suicidal thoughts/behaviour
  • be able to speak out in a supportive manner
  • empower them to signpost the individual to the correct services or support

Suicide Gateway Module - Newly Launched! (Duration 5 - 10min)

A very brief introduction to suicide awareness, including skills and tips to help you have a conversation with someone you think might be considering taking their own life.

Grassroots Real Talk

Real Talk Interactive Film (Duration 30min)

Free interactive film where you choose from multiple choices. You decide which course of action is the most appropriate in the scenario that is played out. Influence the conversation and understand the effect your choices might have.

NHS Health Education England/Public Health

We Need to Talk About Suicide (Duration 60 - 90min)

The course is designed for anyone who regularly comes into contact with members of the public in their day-to-day role, whether clinical or not.  At the end of this course you should feel more confident in having a conversation with someone you believe might be having suicidal thoughts or feelings.  A few simple words of concern and offer of help could be all it takes to encourage someone to take the first steps in seeking further help and support. The course may also encourage you to discuss any concerns you have about suicide with your colleagues and family members.

The course maps to Public Mental Health Leadership and Development Framework and Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework.

Elements included are: Introduction, Why Talking Matters, Risks and Warning Signs, What You Could Say, Support and Wellbeing, Next Steps.

Further training

Cornwall Council's Healthy Cornwall Team also offer various in-person training programmes. These include:

  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Suicide Prevention training 

Where to get help

Mental Health Safety Planning for Children and Young People

If you are supporting a Child or Young Person, there are many services available to provide information or advice.

Mind Your Way provides information, advice and guidance on how and where to get help. 

MindEd Suicide Prevention and Safety Planning - Children and Young People

Interactive training that can be accessed as e-learning for an individual, or as a workshop for delivery to groups.  Lots of opportunity for reflection and examples of how to have a conversation. Four cornerstones of this training are:  Empathy, active listening, help seeking, containment.

The focus of this session is Safety Planning. It is designed to support early and effective intervention in the quest to prevent self-harm and suicide amongst children and young people. You will explore some of the key communication and relational issues. These must be closely attended to in order to co-create effective safety plans. This is great training, that looks specifically at safety planning for young people in school or community settings.

Kooth provides online counselling, support and advice for 11-19 year olds. Opening Times:

  • Monday - Friday 12pm - 10pm
  • Saturday - Sunday 4pm - 10pm

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. 

  • If you need urgent help text YM to 85258
  • All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.
  • Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3 Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus. 

The Samaritans run a helpline you can ring for free at any time of the day or night if you're in distress and need support. 

  • freephone (UK and Republic of Ireland): 116 123 (24 hours)
  • Email: jo@samaritans.org

If you're under 19 you can confidentially call, email, or chat online with Childline. This can be about any problem, big or small. If you signup for a childline account on the website you will be able to message a counsellor anytime without using your email address.  

If you're under 25 you can talk to The Mix for free on the phone, by email or on their webchat. You can also use their phone counselling service, or get more information on support services you might need.

  • Freephone: 0808 808 4994 (13:00-23:00 daily)