Identifying and effectively identifying when patients are a significant danger to themselves or others has proven to be somewhat tricky, even for the most seasoned professionals. Those “Life-pact” contracts you were told about in college are likely not worth the paper they are written on. Some indicators like “putting affairs in order,” a sudden apparent remission of depression or state of calm, lack of discussion about future plans and withdrawal may be good indicators, but that still misses the group that hasn't quite reached that point. This Crisis and Suicide Assessment video class can help you learn more.
The rate of suicide is increasing in America. Now the 10th leading cause of death, suicide claims more lives than traffic accidents and more than twice as many as homicides. At the point of care, providers often do not detect the suicidal thoughts (also known as suicide ideation) of individuals (including children and adolescents) who eventually die by suicide, even though most of them receive health care services in the year prior to death, usually for reasons unrelated to suicide or mental health.