Clinical Services

Safety Planning

Creating a safety plan for clients engaging in telemental health sessions is crucial for ensuring their well-being. Here are some important considerations:

  • Emergency Contacts: Ensure that clients have access to emergency contacts, including local crisis hotlines, emergency services, and trusted friends or family members who can assist in case of crisis.
  • Crisis Response Protocol: Outline clear steps for handling crises during sessions, such as protocols for suicidal ideation, self-harm, or other emergencies. Ensure clients know what to do and whom to contact if they experience a crisis.
  • Technology Backup Plan: Discuss options for alternative communication methods in case of technical issues during sessions. This could include providing a phone number for clients to call or having a backup video conferencing platform.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy: Reiterate the importance of maintaining confidentiality and privacy during telemental health sessions. Discuss encryption methods and secure platforms to protect client information.
  • Assessment of Risk Factors: Conduct a thorough assessment of client risk factors, including mental health history, current stressors, and any potential triggers. Tailor the safety plan to address specific risk factors relevant to each client.
  • Establish Boundaries: Set clear boundaries for communication and availability outside of scheduled sessions. Discuss expectations for response times to emails, calls, or messages between sessions.
  • Collaborative Approach: Involve clients in the development of their safety plan to ensure it reflects their individual needs and preferences. Encourage open communication and feedback throughout the process.
  • Self-Care Strategies: Provide clients with coping skills and self-care strategies to manage stress, anxiety, or other symptoms between sessions. This could include relaxation techniques, mindfulness exercises, or grounding techniques.
  • Regular Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-ins to assess the effectiveness of the safety plan and make any necessary adjustments. Monitor changes in the client’s condition and adjust the plan accordingly.
  • Documentation and Review: Document the safety plan and review it regularly with the client to ensure it remains relevant and effective. Update the plan as needed based on changes in the client’s circumstances or treatment goals.

Safety Planning Resources

Page Last Updated: June 2024

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