Screening for suicide risk is a recommended practice for primary care, hospital and emergency department care, behavioral health care, and crisis response intervention. Any person who screens positive for possible suicide risk should be formally assessed for suicidal ideation, plans, means availability, presence of acute risk factors, history of suicide attempts, as well as for the presence of protective factors. This information should be synthesized by an appropriately trained clinician into a risk formulation that describes the person’s risk as well as serves as the basis for treatment and safety planning. While screening and assessment should be standardized, every client is unique. It is incumbent on the clinician to use the screening and assessment process to establish a collaborative relationship with the client and to ensure his or her safety and well-being.
This webinar will focus on screening and assessment for suicide in health care settings using a patient-centered approach. The objectives for this webinar are to: (1) understand why screening is part of a comprehensive approach to suicide care; (2) determine how to select a suicide screener; (3) recognize the difference between screening and assessment; (4) identify the problems with categorizing risk into levels (low, medium, high) and gain exposure to an alternative approach for formulating and communicating about risk in a health system; and (5) identify a patient-centered approach to screening and assessment.