Information about specific risk and protective factors for assessments is presented in Chapter 4. In this chapter, we present selected clinical considerations for integrating and synthesizing information gathered about well-known risk factors so that it can be used to improve our understanding of the individual person and to drive plans and responses.
What Is Your Role?
Depending upon your role, you may have responsibility for different parts of an assessment process. Can you identify your role? Are you gathering information and passing it on to others? Are you responsible for synthesizing and acting on risk assessment? Even if you are only responsible for a small part of the overall process, it will be useful to understand the whole framework so that you can contribute effectively to a team.
The first part of this chapter will provide a repeatable structure for gathering and communicating key information about the person’s life and experiences that provide a context for understanding suicidal thoughts and behavior.
The second part focuses on detection and assessment of suicidal ideation, behavior, and risk. This includes structured screening and assessment, interviewing techniques, and emerging methods that do not rely on self-report.
The third part of this chapter covers prevention-oriented risk formulation – a framework for synthesizing and communicating about risk in a way that is anchored and actionable in a particular setting and in a particular individual’s life.
Prevention-oriented risk formulation
The left side of the figure provides a repeatable structure for gathering and communicating data that informs assessment. The right side of the figure provides a framework for synthesizing and communicating about risk in a way that is anchored and actionable in a particular setting and in a particular individual’s life.