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Suicide Assessment - Topic Overview

A suicide assessment is used to find out whether a person is at risk for a suicide attempt. Questions asked during a suicide assessment may include:

  • Have you ever felt so bad that you thought you would like to go to sleep and never wake up?
  • Have you ever felt so bad that you thought you would be better off dead?
  • Have you ever thought that you are a burden on your family and friends or that your family and friends would be better off without you?
  • Has someone close to you died by suicide?
  • Do you notice that you've been drinking more alcohol (or using more drugs) than usual or taking chances that you might not have taken before?
  • Have you ever thought about hurting or killing yourself?
  • Have you ever tried to hurt or kill yourself?
  • Do you ever hear voices telling you to hurt or kill yourself?
  • Have you tried to hurt or kill yourself?
  • What stops you from hurting or killing yourself?
  • If you ever thought of hurting or killing yourself, how would you do it?

If a person has thoughts of harming himself or herself, the health professional always asks if he or she has access to the materials needed to follow through with those plans.

If a depressed person has thoughts of suicide, a plan for suicide, and access to the materials needed to follow through with the plan, he or she is at great risk and should be admitted to a hospital for safety.

Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening to commit suicide, get help right away. To learn more, see Suicidal Thoughts or Threats.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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