Screening and Assessment Tools

Screening and Assessment Tools

Suicide is a major problem in the U.S that claims more than 36,000 people every year. Even though healthcare providers can identify individuals at risk and provide them with different treatment methods, most of them are uncertain on how to access suicide risks. Several effective assessment tools can be used to screen suicide risks. Good healthcare providers should assess a person’s level of risk, and examine if an individual is at imminent risk, and then not hospitalize them. The challenge here is that many healthcare providers are downright terrible at suicide risk assessment and intervention.

In my practice, I would like to work with the veteran population. Among veterans and the current military, suicide risk is a major problem that is not seriously taken into consideration. This population also includes Operation Enduring Freedom veterans and active-duty soldiers th the Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve.   Many therapists receive no training in suicide risk, or if they do it is very limited. Among the most effective assessment tools, I would use in practice include the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), and the DCIB Risk Assessment.

I would first come up with a safety plan during the first week and then help a veteran identify the causes of his or her suicidal ideation and activities that would help him or her cope when she feels depressed. During our daily meetings, I would assess his or her feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts. In practice, I will make use of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) to help in assessing changes in veterans’ suicide risk levels. 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 a screening tool that can be administered by other health professionals like social workers. Veterans families and colleagues can also use this tool in case of any concerns about their health. I will use the information gathered from this tool to come up with an effective plan of suicide prevention with the patient. The information helps in understanding any recent changes including the red flags in any veteran behavior. Thus, coming up with the most effective measure.

Another critical tool is the DCIB Risk Assessment. This tool is effective in measuring suicidal desires like hopelessness, suicidal ideation, feeling trapped, psychological pain, the perceived burden on others, and helplessness (Dustin, 2017). It also measures suicidal capabilities such as extreme agitation, substance abused, available means of killing self, and history of suicidal attempts. I can use this method after asking the patient some questions. The information gathered from this tool can be used to identify the most effective treatment for reducing suicidal risk and prevention actions.











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.

Dustin. (2017, September 22). DCIB Suicide Risk Assessment. Dustin K MacDonald.





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