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Safety planning

Safety plans deal with how to avoid and reduce risks, with early warning, and with preparing for escape.

Even if the patient is not in immediate danger, we should always think about safety planning.

There are tools available for safety planning, too. You could support your patient in understanding the tool and developing their own personal safety plan. Such plan could identify how the patient can avoid and reduce risks, use early warning, and prepare for escape. The steps in a safety plan include:

  • Removal of weapons from home
  • Phone number to shelter and police
  • Code with family members or friends
  • Agreement with neighbours to call the police
  • Emergency bag with documents, money, and car keys
  • Escape routes

As a health professional, you may have access to other services which provide comprehensive danger assessment and safety planning. If this is not possible in your country or workplace, you should aim to understand these principles, and explain them to the patient yourself.

Dr Marc in London could refer such patients to a designated multi-agency committee. We will learn more about this in the next video.

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Addressing Violence Through Patient Care

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