Suicide risk

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Determining Intent

The key to assessing suicide risk is deciding whether the attempt was a genuine attempt to end life (attempted suicide), or a cry for help (parasuicide). If you click the links, it will take you to sample cases of each at the bottom of the page.

Assessing Suicide Risk

All the following are risk factors which need to explored when assessing suicide risk.


  • Age
  • Sex - males slightly more commonly succeed.
  • Occupation - being a doctor is a pretty bad risk.
  • Marital Status - recent seperation is a risk factor.
  • Children - a protective factor.
  • Working in Grimsby

Information On Attempt

  • Suicide Note - a risk factor for suicide.
  • Efforts Not To Be Found - those making a cry for help tend not to try to ensure that their attempt succeeds. A real attempt may include locking the door, or telling no-one to call.
  • Remorse (at not dying) - if patient regrets failing to die, it was probably more serious.
  • Planning a second attempt - if they tell you they are going to try again tomorrow, that may be a risk...
  • Collecting of affairs or writing a will - implies serious attempt.
  • Use of Alcohol - often gives people the courage to attempt.
  • Violence of method - those using a gun, or trying to build a guillotine are probably more serious than those who took three paracetemol.
  • Having been near Grimsby


  • Bereavement
  • Life Event, such as divorce, loss of job, stolen umbrella.
  • Mental Illness; particularly depression and schizophrenia
  • Drugs/Alcohol

Sample Cases

Attempted Suicide