Suicide Risk Assessment Tools and Management in Emergency Department

  • Karolina Mlynek
  • Christopher Sola
  • Naveed Khokhar


Suicide is the leading cause of death worldwide. The cause of suicidal behavior is multifactorial, and there is a deficiency in adequately recognizing the signs of suicide risk in patients, making it hard to predict. A history of prior suicide attempts is the strongest single prognostic factor of future suicide attempts. Other important risk factors include a history of mental disorders, age, sex, gender, race, sense of isolation, occupation, health, and family history as well as genetics. Currently, there is no universally accepted suicide risk assessment tool recognized as superior for use in acute crises. There are several tools that could be helpful in quick assessment of acute crises in emergency room, and it is important for psychiatrists to be aware of them. However, there is no one-size-fits-all intervention from a psychiatric perspective, as suicide is heterogeneous. Stabilizing the underlying psychiatric issue and addressing psychosocial stressors, when possible, are the first steps in the emergency department.


Suicide Emergency department Suicide prevention Suicide assessment Emergency psychiatry 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karolina Mlynek
    • 1
  • Christopher Sola
    • 1
  • Naveed Khokhar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA

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