Stanley Brown Safety Plans

Get your client's intervention in place with the Stanley Brown Safety Plan. Download our free PDF template and example to get started.

By Ericka Pingol on Jul 21, 2024.


Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

Use Template
Stanley Brown Safety Plans PDF Example
ToolbarShare uiAI Icon

What is the Stanley Brown Safety Plan?

Creating a safety plan is crucial in supporting individuals grappling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts. It involves developing a personalized and practical roadmap that encompasses recognizing potential triggers, outlining effective coping strategies, and compiling a list of immediate contacts for crisis support. This plan serves as a valuable guide during challenging times.

It's important to note that this approach is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, it is a customized plan tailored to each person's unique circumstances. Collaborating with healthcare professionals, individuals, and their families is essential in crafting and maintaining this plan to ensure its effectiveness.

This is an intervention for people struggling with self-harm or thoughts of suicide. It is a practical way to reduce risk and increase safety for those in crisis.

Barbara Stanley, Ph.D, develops this plan. & Gregory K. Brown, Ph.D., aims to help individuals identify warning signs that may indicate an imminent crisis and provide strategies to cope without using self-destructive behavior or other risky behaviors. It also helps them to build a network of support, access resources in the community, and find personal coping skills that can prevent the situation from escalating into a crisis.

How does it work?

This free printable Stanley Brown Safety Plan is straightforward to use. Here's how to get started:

Step one: download the safety plan

Get a copy of the Stanley Brown Safety Plan template from the link on this page or via the Carepatron app. You can also access it from our extensive resources library.

Step two: discuss it with your client

Explain to your client that the safety plan will help them take charge of their mental health. It helps them identify what triggers their distress, recognize warning signs, and find ways to cope with difficult emotions. It also encourages them to contact their support network if they need help.

Step three: work together to fill out the plan

Start by discussing how to recognize warning signs and practice self-care strategies. Ask your client to complete the plan independently, or if they prefer, you can do it together.

Step four: review the safety plan

When you and your client have completed the plan, review it together. Discuss any changes that need to be made or strategies they can use when warning signs appear.

Step five: put it into action

Encourage your client to keep the safety plan handy and use it whenever necessary. Ask them to check in with you regularly regarding their Stanley Brown Safety Plan so that you can ensure it's working as intended and adjust it if needed. You can also help by reminding them of the strategies outlined in the plan or adjusting them based on their needs.

Step six: revisit the safety plan

As your client's mental health needs change, it is important to revisit the safety plan. Schedule a time with them to review and update it accordingly. This helps ensure that their safety plan is up-to-date and effective in assisting them to manage their mental distress.

Step seven: make sure they have access to resources

In addition to having a documented plan, it's important that your client has access to the resources they need. This could be online support groups, mental health professionals, or other forms of support. Encourage them to reach out if needed and provide information on how and where they can get assistance. Keep in mind that even if someone's safety plan is effective, there are times when additional support may be required.

When would you use this template?

You can use the Stanley Brown Safety Plan template in any situation where it is necessary to create a safety plan. It can be used by mental health professionals, counselors, and social workers when working with clients or clients at risk of self-harm or engaging in risky behavior. Achieve better client outcomes and improve your practice with this safety plan template. Moreover, you can utilize this form to:

Guide how to stay safe during moments of distress

You can use the Stanley Brown Safety Plan to help your client develop a plan to stay safe during moments of distress. This can include identifying who they can talk to in times of need, activities they can do when feeling overwhelmed, and other coping strategies that may be helpful.

Evaluate any risk factors present

The Stanley Brown Safety Plan allows you to evaluate any potential risk factors that could be present. This can help you identify any stressors or triggers that could lead to dangerous behavior and any available resources that may help alleviate these risk factors.

Develop strategies for managing mental health difficulties

You can use this template to help your client identify what has worked in the past, create action plans to address current issues, and develop strategies for possible future scenarios. It also allows you to outline any boundaries or limits that may need to be set and discuss times when additional support may be needed.

Share important information with family or other stakeholders

The Stanley Brown Safety Plan also allows you to share important safety information with family members or care providers involved in the client's care. This can help ensure that all key parties know the risks associated with mental health and any additional resources available.

Benefits of free Stanley Brown Safety Plan

Our free Stanley Brown Safety Plan template offers numerous benefits, including the following:

Fully digital and easy to complete

Our template allows for easy completion in a digital format, which makes it accessible and simple to use. It also allows the client to update the safety plan as needed, allowing them to make changes whenever necessary.


The template has various sections, each carefully designed to help the client effectively identify risk factors and develop strategies for managing them.

Help clients stay safe

The Stanley Brown Safety Plan aims to help keep clients safe and minimize risk. This safety plan can potentially reduce any dangerous behaviors by outlining any triggers or warning signs and providing resources for managing them.

Encourage open communication

The Stanley Brown Safety Plan helps facilitate honest communication between you and your client. This can help build trust and understanding, which is important for effective care. Additionally, it allows for changes to be made quickly and efficiently.


Stanley, B., & Brown, G. K. (2012). Safety planning intervention: A brief intervention to mitigate suicide risk. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 19(2), 256–264.

Who uses the Stanley Brown Safety Plan?
Who uses the Stanley Brown Safety Plan?

Commonly asked questions

Who uses the Stanley Brown Safety Plan?

Mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors, often use the Stanley Brown Safety Plan to help clients manage their mental health.

What does the Stanley Brown Safety Plan do?

The Stanley Brown Safety Plan helps clients identify any triggers or warning signs that could lead to dangerous behavior, allowing them to develop strategies for managing them. It also provides resources for dealing with these issues, such as therapy, medication, and support groups.

When do you use the Stanley Brown Safety Plan?

The Stanley Brown Safety Plan can be used anytime to help clients manage their mental health. It is especially important for clients in crisis or with a history of dangerous behavior, as it provides a practical framework for addressing these issues.

How is the Stanley Brown Safety Plan used?

The Stanley Brown Safety Plan can be incorporated into therapy sessions or used as part of an individualized self-care plan.

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

One app for all your healthcare work