Discussion: Assessing Suicide Risk

As a social worker, you will likely at some point have a client with a positive suicide risk assessment. Many individuals with suicidal ideation also have a plan, and that plan may be imminent. Even when the risk is not urgent at a given moment, current research shows that most suicides occur within 3 months of the risk being assessed within a formal appointment. Ideation can quickly become a suicide.

For this Discussion, you view an initial suicide risk assessment. As you evaluate the social worker’s actions, imagine yourself in their place. What would you do, and why?

 

To prepare:

  • Explore an evidence-based tool about suicide risk assessment and safety planning. See the Week 3 document Suggested Further Reading (PDF) for a list of resources to review.
  • Watch the “Suicide Assessment Interview” segment in the Sommers-Flanagan (2014) video to assess how it compares to your findings.
  • Access the Library to research scholarly resources related to suicide and Native American populations.

 

 

Post a response in which you address the following:

 

  • Identify elements of Dr. Sommers-Flanagan’s suicide risk assessment.

 

  • Describe any personal emotional responses you would have to Tommi’s revelations and reflect on reasons you might experience these emotions.

 

  • Describe the elements of safety planning that you would put in place as Tommi’s social worker in the first week and in the first months.

 

  • Identify a suicide risk assessment tool you would use at future sessions to identify changes in her risk level. Explain why you would use this tool.

 

  • Explain any adjustments or enhancements that might be helpful given Tommi’s cultural background. Support your ideas with scholarly resources.

 

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