Strategies for Coping
Prepare a Safety Plan
Safety is the cornerstone of recovering from trauma. We need to feel safe emotional and physical selves as well as in our social and family relationships. Create a safety plan. Keep it with you. Give it to someone you trust to remind you what to do. Here is some help for creating a safety plan:
- What are my triggers? (warning signs that I may be unsafe or a crisis is brewing)
- What are my internal coping skills? (things I can do without others to manage upsetting thoughts and feelings)
- Where can I go for social support? (people and healthy social places that take my mind off problems and feel safe)
- Who can I talk to? (supportive friends and family I can trust and can talk to)
- Who else can I talk to? (professional or other adults – counselors or mentors I can go to)
- How do I make my environment safe? (remove things or stay away from places/people)
What if I feel physically threatened or unsafe right now? What do I do in the moment?
If it is possible and safe, remove yourself from the situation and follow your safety plan. There are community-based groups that you can call for help with your safety if you feel immediate threats.
In regards to threats related to “street violence” there are several groups that specialize in violence interruption activities. These groups have city-wide resources and can be very helpful in resolving conflicts so that violence does not erupt.
Additional Resources for Immediate Help:
For a Life-Threatening Emergency – 911
For a Mental Health Emergency – 988
National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-7233
Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline – 877-863-6338
Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault – Find a crisis center near you.
Go to your nearest hospital emergency room.