I started a new journal tonight. And like every other journal before it, the first two things that go into it is my crisis response plan and the Holden psychache scale, though lately it just is my response plan.
I tried finding the response plan online but all I found was emergency planning and a very LONG one that the Navy cooked up, most likely from the article I read about military suicide crisis training. I tried to find the article but I am unable to locate it in my files. I haven’t searched my thumb drive because I can’t locate that either. GGGRRRR so I hope I am not plagiarizing when I post this plan here on my blog:
Crisis response plan:
When thinking about suicide, I agree to do the following:
Step 1: Try to identify my thoughts and specifically what’s upsetting me
Step 2: Write out and review more reasonable responses to my suicidal thoughts
Step 3: Do things that help you feel better for at least 30 mins (examples can include, trying to sleep, play internet games, brush hair 100 times, write in a journal, listen to music, etc)
Step 4: Repeat all of the above
Step 5: if thoughts continue, get specific and I find myself preparing to do something, I will call XXX @ 555-555-5555 or suicide hotline
Step 6: if I cannot reach above I will call my therapist or psychiatrist
Step 7: if I am still feeling suicidal and I don’t feel like I can control my behavior, I go to the ER or call 911 (or whatever the local emergency line is for your country)
I have found having this in my journal useful when I have been hospitalized because it provides a plan of something that they need for discharge and I don’t always carry the card or the paper with me but I do carry my journal.
The second thing is Holden’s(Holden, Mehta, Cunningham, & McLeod, 2001) psychache scale and I don’t feel comfortable posting that here but you can look it up in the reference I have posted if you have access to the library.
I tend to hold off on it because I haven’t been using it lately. I know what the scale looks like and after a while you can manipulate it to whatever you want it to be from high to low. Plus when I feel numb or “fine” it’s hard to tell what kind of psychological pain I am in. My therapist and I used to use it to gauge how suicidal I was but then it just got to be like a joke. Or that the tables have turned on me because I was the one that brought in the scales and the response plan. My therapist didn’t have a clue about suicidality, which is typical of most therapists. That is why they like to pawn you off or come up with lame “safety contract” that is really a legal form for THEM not YOU. Least with the Response plan it give you something to take home with and is more detailed than anything I have come across.
Holden, R. R., Mehta, K., Cunningham, E., & McLeod, L. D. (2001). Development and preliminary validation of a scale of psychache. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 33(4), 224-232.