Assessing Suicide Risk

Assessing Suicide Risk

There were several elements in Dr. Sommers-Flanagan’s suicide risk assessment. The first element was a discussion on Tommi’s depressive symptoms and moods. The second element the cultural check in that helped in addressing his cultures. What followed was a cognitive trial assessment for exploring his thoughts about the world and the future (Sommers-Flanagan, 2014). The next elements include an assessment of physical symptoms and social relationships, suicidal thoughts and expectations and sleeping difficulties. Dr. Sommers-Flanagan also explored Tommi’s previous suicidal attempts as well as an effective safety plan for the situation. Tommi felt safe while sharing her experience since Dr. Sommers-Flanagan would use previous examples to show that she was not the only one who experienced suicidal thoughts.

As a social worker working with Tommi, I would come up with a safety plan during the first week. I can then help Tommi identify the causes of her suicidal ideation and activities that would help her cope when she feels depressed. During our daily meetings, I would assess her feelings of depression and suicide thoughts (Greville, 2017). I would also advise him to start journaling to help her express her feelings. Nonetheless, I would connect her with people she feel safe around who will also act as her support team

I would use the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) to help in assessing changes in Tommi’s suicide risk level. The C-SSRS would be effective in gathering data on the full range of suicidal behavior and ideation (Interian et al., 2028). This tool is reliable since it can be used to assess patients of all ages. Nonetheless, it is as a screening tool that can be administered by other health professionals like social workers. her family and colleagues can also use this tool in case of any concerns about Tommi’s health. This helps in understanding any recent changes including the red flags in Tommi’s behavior.

Adjustments on the assessment is one of the most important things that should be considered give Tommi’s cultural background. According to research the second leading cause of high mortality rate among the Alaska Native community is suicide (Sommers-Flanagan, 2014). Given, the raising suicide rates and Tommi’s Native Alaskan culture, I would enhance my assessment techniques to provide a comprehensive understanding of the underlying causes of suicidal behaviors. I would also adjust my way of asking questions to ensure comfortability and answering of all questions. Learning about Tommi’s culture will be significant in identifying the risk factors of the increasing suicides in her community. It is also important to adjust my intervention methods to fit in Tommi’s culture.
















Greville, L. (2017). Children and families forum: Suicide prevention for children and adolescents. Social Work Today. Retrieved from html

Interian, A., Chesin, M., Kline, A., Miller, R., St. Hill, L., Latorre, M., … & Stanley, B. (2018). Use of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) to classify suicidal behaviors. Archives of suicide research22(2), 278-294.

Sommers-Flanagan. (2014). “Suicide Assessment Interview.” (Video). Retrived from

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