The IM SAFE Personal Checklistby DA Caravella on 08/22/19
Many times when poor decisions are made and unfortunate actions are taken, the cause can be traced back to our compromised self. The IM SAFE personal assessment is a good and quick tool.
Consider these elements in brief:
- (I)llness. Being sick or injured affects mood and capability, which in turn affects the ability to make accurate perceptions and take appropriate and timely action.
- (M)edication. We're all familiar with drug warning labels.
- (S)tress. Some stress is needed just to stay alive. Too much stress is incapacitating. It is "eustress" which we wish to experience to enjoy normal thoughts and actions.
- (A)lcohol. No amount of alcohol benefits the judgment process. A social lubricant, maybe. But alcohol in any amount does not otherwise enhance the ability to use any tool.
- (F)atigue. In varying degrees, fatigue itself can have the effect, combined or singular, of illness, medication, stress, or alcohol.
- (E)ating. Nourishment affects body chemistry as does all of the above. A lack of proper nourishment is detrimental.
Now consider the person who leaves home and is about to strap on a concealed firearm. This person just came down with an illness last night, and has taken medication containing alcohol and a sleep aid. Still, this person slept hardly at all because of the neighbor's loud dog--something that must be resolved soon. And, finally, this individual is late for work (again) and must perform well today since continued-employment warnings have been given.
Is this someone who should strap on a firearm today? Used properly, the IM SAFE checklist might persuade our friend to leave the firearm at home today, or at least resolve to use extra caution in interpreting situations.