Assessing Suicidality

Suicidal thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can be difficult to predict and uncomfortable to discuss. However, because completed suicides are permanent and devastating, educators share a responsibility to assess students who may be at risk. Talking about suicidality makes things better, not worse. Consultation with a qualified mental health professional, such as a licensed clinical psychologist or licensed clinical social worker, is essential. In addition to facilitating a prompt clinical referral, your role is to perform a lay screening assessment to help you understand and support a young person in need. This sheet may be a helpful guide in that assessment.