Individual interviews were conducted and analyzed to learn about the engagement of suicidal veterans in safety planning.
Twenty suicidal veterans who had recently constructed safety plans were recruited at two VA hospitals. In semistructured interviews, they discussed how they felt about constructing and using the plan and suggested changes in plan content and format that might increase engagement.
The veterans’ experiences varied widely, from reviewing plans often and noting symptom improvement to not using them at all and doubting that they would think of doing so when deeply depressed.
The veterans suggested ways to enrich safety planning encounters and identified barriers to plan use. Their ideas were specific and practical. Safety planning was most meaningful and helpful to them when they experienced the clinician as a partner in exploring their concerns (e.g., fear of discussing and attending to warning signs) and collaborating with them to devise solutions.
Kayman, J. D., Goldstein, F. G., Dixon, L., & Goodman, M. (October 27, 2015). Perspectives of suicidal verterans on safety planning: Findings from a pilot study. The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 36, 371-383.