If you don’t have access to art materials required, you can download free apps for virtual hope boxes on your smart devices. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information.
What is a hope box?
A hope box, also known as a crisis box, is a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) technique to challenge tunnel vision and distorted thinking that can occur with negative thoughts – to give yourself reminders of hope even when you feel none.
It can be used as a suicide prevention tool but also as a positive boost for people feeling low.
Most charities recommend writing a safety plan (also known as a crisis plan) for your hope/crisis box. Get Self Help has a safety plan template or you can read Lighter Minds advice on writing your own plan. These normally include emergency contacts such as family members, charities, hotlines and support networks.
What you need:
1 x Container
This does not need to be a box. It can be whatever you want it to be!
- biscuit tin
- travel tin
Check out Pinterest for inspiration.
If you are a creative person and have a particular skill such as knitting, sewing, carpentry, crafts, pottery or anything you could utilise feel free to do so.
In the example below, a colouring book was used to design a dragonfly, map paper to cover the shoebox, and stickers to decorate.
Countless x Personal items
These ideas are not exhaustive, there’s many things you could use personalised to your own life. Use anything that makes you feel happier.
- Letters, notes, postcards
- Mood diary
- Stress ball
- Safety or ‘crisis’ plan
- Favourite toys (teddy bear, yoyo, puppets, fidget spinner, ball and cup)
- Gratitude journal
- Favourite CDs, DVDs or books and poems
- Essential oils
- Incense sticks
- Scented candles
- Newspaper clippings
- Paper for origami
- Games (marbles, top trumps, a deck of cards, dice, conkers)
- Favourite treats (chocolate, sweets, popcorn, crisps, nuts or whatever your comfort food is)
Open the box if…
- You feel suicidal.
- There are thoughts of self-harm in your mind.
- You experience a mental health crisis or relapse.
- Anytime you are overwhelmed with negative emotions: anxiety, depression, loneliness, anger, grief.