Grief Counseling Training Program: Suicide Assessment for Christian and Grief Counseling
In grief and Christian counseling it is important to identify high risk factors that can lead to suicide. Below is an assessment guide in diagnosing possible people at risk.
The first assessment is identifying symptoms of depression. According to medical professionals, depression manifests itself in these ways. 1. Intense sadness. 2. lost of interest in normal activities 3. loss of energy and strength 4. loss of self confidence 5. excessive guilt 6. expressions that reflect lack of worth or living 7. loss of concentration 8. extreme restlessness 9. frequent insomnia 10. loss of appetite. One should rank these on a scale of one to ten. If two or more symptoms exist with a level of three, a counselor should refer his patient to a medical professional for possible depression treatment.
The second assessment for suicide prevention is the risk factors. Among the most common are 1. loss of job 2. loss of social status 3. financial loss. 4. Gender–male. 5. family history of suicide 6. drug use 7. mental illness. These issues or combination of these issues can lead to a potential suicide
The third and final assessment is assessing he lethality of a threat or plan. Questions such as “Have you considered harming yourself?” or “How many times have you considered harming yourself?” are good starting points in questioning. The second set of questions involve the depth of the plan. They include “Have you considered how you will kill yourself?” The third set of questions hopes to identify a time table. Through this one can identify the intent, lethality and immediacy of the threat.
With good assessment skills, a counselor can prevent a catastrophic event that will not only end an individual life but hurt an entire family. For more information, please review our Grief Counseling training program.
By Mark Moran, MA