Suicide Assessment

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Suicide Assessment

Topic Overview

A suicide assessment is used to determine whether a person is at risk for a suicide attempt. Questions asked during a suicide assessment include:

  • Have you ever felt so bad that you thought you would like to go to sleep and never wake up?
  • Have you ever felt so bad that you thought you would be better off dead?
  • Have you ever thought that you are a burden on your family and friends or that your family and friends would be better off without you?
  • Do you notice that you've been drinking more alcohol (or using more drugs) than usual or taking chances that you might not have taken before?
  • Have you ever thought about hurting or killing yourself?
  • Have you ever tried to hurt or kill yourself?
  • Do you ever hear voices telling you to hurt or kill yourself?
  • Have you tried to hurt or kill yourself?
  • What stops you from hurting or killing yourself?
  • If you ever thought of hurting or killing yourself, how would you do it?

If a person has thoughts of harming him- or herself, the health professional always asks if he or she has access to the materials needed to follow through with those plans.

If a depressed person has thoughts of suicide, a plan for suicide, and access to the materials needed to follow through with the plan, he or she is at great risk and should be admitted to a hospital for safety.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Miklos Ferenc Losonczy, MD, PhD - Psychiatry
Last Revised January 14, 2011

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