Generally, when one hears the word “safety,” it is easy to associate it with words like “danger,” “emergency,” and “risk.” We tend to think of safety as a prevention method, a plan used to prevent danger or an emergency. Although that is not wrong, as planning is used for that, there is more to be said for safety planning.
Safety planning means maximizing safety while still having fun in whatever we choose to do. Safety planning means that every person feels emotionally, physically, and mentally secure in every situation. Whether it be at a party, a concert, or just hanging out with friends. Especially with Halloween approaching, your safety is a priority. October is a month full of partying and celebrating Halloween and it’s no doubt a perfect time to have fun with your friends and family. However it is important to make sure you feel safe in anything you choose to do this month.
Here are some tips how to maximize safety:
First, if you go out with friends, keep in touch with them throughout the night. Have a designated sober friend, and if you are drinking, keep track of your drinks! Try not to leave them unattended. If you want to leave early, contact a friend when you leave and again when you get home safe. If your friend wants to leave with someone, whether they’re friends or not, it doesn’t hurt to double check and ask for an address or the contact information of the person they’re leaving with.
Second, when experimenting with something new, go low and slow. You don’t know how much you will like it, and you don’t know how your body will react. Start slow and see how things go.
Sometimes the simplest things can maximize safety and reduce risk in everyday life. For example, if you drive, try leaving for work or school a bit earlier so you don’t take a chance and speed. Or maybe try not to jaywalk on the busy streets of Toronto. These things may seem small and insignificant, however in the end, it’s the simple decisions we make that keep us safe.
An important thing to note is that your safety comes first no matter what. So if your gut is telling you something is wrong and your Spidey Senses are tingling, trust them. Trust your gut and your instincts. You are perfectly in your right to leave or not participate in a situation if you do not feel safe. If you feel that you are in danger, do not hesitate to ask for help from someone you trust. You know yourself best. At the end of the day, there’s no better feeling in the world than feeling safe. Safety can never be overrated; not if it means keeping the people we love and ourselves secure.
If you need further support, check out the Accessibility, Well-Being and Counseling Centre located at Glendon Hall, 111A, or contact the office by phone at 416-487-6709 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.