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Section 2
Assessment and Determination of Risk for Suicide

Question 2 | Test | Table of Contents

Department of Defense (DoD)

Key Points found in Scroll Box below:
1. Indication for Assessment of Risk for Suicide:
Population-Based Screening; Universal Screening; Mental Disorders (Psychiatric Disorders); Medical Conditions (Chronic pain); Medical Conditions (Sleep disorder); Indicated Screening; Clinical Assessment; and Referral from Non-Clinical Sources.
2. Estimating the Risk for Suicide
Determination of suicide risk should include three tasks: 1.Gathering information related to the patient's intent to engage in suicide- related behavior; 2.Evaluating factors that elevate or reduce the risk of acting on that intent; and 3.Integrating all available information to determine the level of risk and appropriate setting for care.
3. Three direct warning signs portend the highest likelihood of suicidal behavior:
Suicidal communication; Preparationsfor suicide; and Seeking access or recent use of lethal means.
4. Assessment of Suicidal Ideation, Intent and Behavior:
Suicidal Ideation/Thoughts; Suicidal Intent; Previous Suicide Attempt; and Warning Signs-Indications for Urgent/Immediate Action.

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- The Assessment and Management of Risk for Suicide Working Group. (June 2013). VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Version 1.0, p. 22-34.

Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide

Key Points found in Scroll Box below:
1. Protective Factors for Suicide:
• Effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance use disorders
• Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for helpseeking
• Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide
• Strong connections to family and community support
• Support through ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
• Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and nonviolent handling of disputes
• Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation
2. Risk Factors for Suicide:
Biopsychosocial; Environmental; and Socialcultural.

- National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action. Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide. Suicide Prevention Resource Center. 2001.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Carter, G., & Spittal, M. J. (2018). Suicide risk assessment: Risk stratification is not accurate enough to be clinically useful and alternative approaches are needed. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 39(4), 229–234.

Hom, M. A., Joiner, T. E., Jr., & Bernert, R. A. (2016). Limitations of a single-item assessment of suicide attempt history: Implications for standardized suicide risk assessment. Psychological Assessment, 28(8), 1026–1030.

Picard, E. H., & Rosenfeld, B. (2020). How clinicians incorporate suicide risk factors into suicide risk assessment. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention. Advance online publication.

What are four biopsychosocial risk factors for suicide? To select and enter your answer go to Test.