Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: November  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • previous suicide attempt
  • current suicide plan
  • access to lethal means
  • hx of psychiatric disease, including substance abuse
  • FHx of suicide or mental illness

Other diagnostic factors

  • chronic medical illness, disability, or disfigurement
  • significant psychosocial factors
  • personality and/or maladaptive traits

Risk factors

  • current suicidal plan
  • previous suicide attempt
  • hx of mental disorder, including substance abuse
  • availability of lethal means
  • hx of childhood sexual or physical abuse
  • FHx of death by suicide
  • male sex
  • prison inmate
  • FHx of psychiatric illness
  • physical illness (especially of CNS) and/or physical impairment
  • marital status (divorced, single, widowed)
  • professions/occupations (unemployed, self-employed, agricultural workers, medical and dental professionals)
  • psychosocial stressors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • Tool for Assessment of Suicide Risk (TASR)
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Stan Kutcher

Professor

Department of Psychiatry

Dalhousie University

Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University

Director

WHO Collaborating Center for Mental Health Training and Policy

Dalhousie University

Halifax

Nova Scotia

Canada

Disclosures

SK has received research grants from various foundations and national granting agencies (none from either the pharmaceutical nor psychotherapy industries) to support some of his academic work. He is employed by a university and hospital, and sees patients who sometimes present with a suicide attempt. He has also co-authored a textbook on suicide risk assessment and management, published in 2007 and the second edition in 2012.

Dr Stan Kutcher would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Magdalena Szumilas, a previous contributor to this monograph. MS is an author of a reference cited in this monograph.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Professor of Psychiatry and Mental Health

Departamento de Saude Mental

Faculdade de Ciencias Medicas

Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Lisbon

Portugal

Disclosures

RG declares that he has no competing interests.

Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry

University of California

San Diego

Veterans Hospital

La Jolla

CA

Disclosures

SR declares that he has no competing interests.

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