Your safety is a priority---you may feel threatened by a peer, family member, ​or even your own thoughts. As a result, there may be times when it’s important to have a plan in place to help you cope with your problems and keep you safe.

The first step in developing a safety plan would be to identify what is making you feel unsafe. Is it an abusive environment? Suicidal thoughts? A negative peer situation? No matter what your situation is, you deserve to feel safe and comfortable in your life. If you are not feeling this way, then it’s time to do something about it.

Think about the adults in your life. Who can you talk to? Many times the best people to talk to are people who have been there for you in the past and have shown an interest in your life. If your environment is dangerous, who can you tell so you can get the help that you need? Identify several people who will want the best for you and can help you sort through whatever you are dealing with.

Developing a healthy way to cope with your situation and feelings will be key. Find things that help you relax--- this could include talking with a friend, taking a walk, trying a new hobby or reading a book. By finding things to distract yourself and promote peace in your life, you are creating coping skills to deal with the stress you are experiencing. Remember that there are as many coping skills as there are people in the world. Each person is going find different coping skills that work for them.

Click on the list of coping skills below to get your creative wheels turning. This list might contain the perfect coping skill for you, or at least it can get you on the road to discovering something that really helps. When you find something that works for you, write it down so you can remember the next time you are feeling stressed.

Now that you have worked out ways to get support and handle your feelings, it is important to work on a plan so that you can keep yourself safe. Again, this will be unique just to you and your situation. Click on these links to help you work through this process: Your Plan and Creating a Safety Plan. Print it. Fill it out. Hang it by your bed, stick it in your binder; keep it handy.

You have a great future ahead of you. Make changes, get support, find ways to work through your emotions so that you can see the hope in your life. Hope is crucial. Hope changes everything.