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Here you will find explanations of activities/handouts which have been developed by Personal Safety Nets. Following the expanations are links to the activities/handouts themselves. These resources are intended primarily for those teaching PSN concepts, skills and approaches.

For teachers using the agenda samples, there is often mention of these handouts/activities - we have tried to also provide links within the agendas and/or the instructor guide.

These actities/handouts may, however, be helpful in other ways — and with the goal of increasing the interconnectedness and compassion of the world, we offer them freely.

You'll notice that most of these are in WORD docs, so you can customize them to fit your particular audience. We hope that if you find adaptations that are particularly fitting (for instance, having been translated into another language) you'll forward them to us so we can post them too.


A Personal Safety Net Diagram

This illustrates each of the 8 Pillars of Resilience which will provide a well-supported PSN, and the support needed to bounce back when inevitable changes or challenges arise.

A Personal Survey

Can be used by individuals or in a classroom survey to see how participants feel about giving and getting help and where they are currently as to their connections to help.

Asking Exercise

Introduces or reviews ways of effectively asking for or responding to requests, whether it be: yes, no, with an explanation or not, giving no reply, being curt, offering alternatives, or by giving an apology. A group activity in twos or threes, thinking of a time or situation in which help was wanted or asked for.

Assumptions & Values

Background material concerning the assumption behind building a PSN and the values underlying it.

Burnout or Compassion Fatigue

Background materials for review as people care for others and don’t often realize how much of what they are exposed to is being taken in and held in their own body as symptoms and ideas for change.

Columns of a PSN

This worksheet, which can be used alone or in a group, helps participants start to think and list: who & what is available to them with regard to themselves, their pillars of resilience, and how to tie them all together – to create PLANS.

Metaphors and Similes

This background information gets participants thinking of the PSN terms in various ways.

Milling Exercise

This class exercise helps participants deal with those around them in new ways.


When asked to help, only we can decide what to offer to whom, how and when. Using this checklist is an aid to holding oneself accountable and setting limits. This checklist is also a perfect match to the "Receiving Help" checklist.

PSN Scavenger-Hunt

This class ice-breaker exercise helps participants find others who are in the same planning and cooperating mode as they are – allows for introduction and discussion.

Problem-Solving Scenarios

We’ve provided a series of scenarios that can be used in a class situation (assign individuals and/or groups to do one or more) and follow up with a discussion for the entire class, or simply considered by the classroom in an open discussion. They can also be given as homework or research assignments.

Receiving Help

This checklist helps anyone in need attempt to figure out and quantify the things they might consider having someone help them with and who might they be willing to allow/ invite to provide this help? This checklist is also a perfect match to the "Offering Help" checklist.

Steps to Successful Asking (long)

These information sheets provide not only steps but also research information on 'asking for help' – how can participants approach the task of asking? And how can they make it more manageable? More effective?

Steps to Successful Asking (short)

This shorter version provides a handout of steps to take to make ‘asking for help’ easier, more effective and manageable.

The Power of Three – A Wallet Card Explained

This is a quick review of the questions that should be asked as an aid to properly filling out a wallet card, along with the steps to maximizing its usefulness.

There's No Such Thing as a Dragon, by author and illustrator Jack Kent

This is a little book first published in 1975. The story opens when Billy Bixbee finds a tiny dragon in his bedroom, his mom tells him, "There's no such thing as a dragon!" This only makes the dragon get bigger. He grows, and grows, and grows, until he's bigger than Billy's house—and that's just the beginning! This book is the children's version of what happens when we ignore a problem's existence.

Things That Get In The Way Of Asking

We’ve provided a list of things that get in the way of asking & getting the help people need/want. This list is derived from allowing participants to “call out” things that stop them personally. You can do this exercise with or without this list.

Three-Step Dance – Management of Emotions

Information that can help participants learn to better control their reactions when they are asking for help or gaining information from another. Helps with retraining oneself to be more open to others and more in control of themselves.

Tips on Making Friends

This information sheet provides help to those who find making friends difficult. These suggestions provide ideas for ways to meet people and form strong, lasting friendships.

Traits and Skills

When participants first look at building a PSN they often get bogged down in understanding what they bring to the party – their traits and skills. This checklist helps them focus on some of the areas that might not appear evident to them, as well as help them name someone who could pick up the slack if they were incapacitated or to whom they could delegate.

What to Say to Others about Your Wallet Card

A four-step list of how individuals can explain the use of their own wallet card to those either in the PSN or those who want to know how it works.

WhoM to Trust

Many think they are alone searching for trusting relationships, but research tells us thinkers like this are actually in the majority. To build a PSN you need trusted individuals around you – so this handout provides information on whom to trust and how to know it.

11 Other Reasons Activity

This is another activity for those who are timid or afraid to ask for help because they always hear no. Why is that person saying no? Here’s a chance to change participants' minds about the reason why.