As a social worker, you will likely at some point have a client with a positive suicide risk assessment. Many individuals with suicidal ideation also have a plan, and that plan may be imminent. Even when the risk is not urgent at a given moment, current research shows that most suicides occur within 3 months of the risk being assessed within a formal appointment. Ideation can quickly become a suicide.
For this Discussion, you view an initial suicide risk assessment. As you evaluate the social worker’s actions, imagine yourself in their place. What would you do, and why?
Explore an evidence-based tool about suicide risk assessment and safety planning. See the Week 3 document Suggested Further Reading for SOCW 6090 (PDF) for a list of resources to review.
Watch the “Suicide Assessment Interview” segment in the Sommers-Flanagan (2014) video to assess how it compares to your findings.
Access the Walden Library to research scholarly resources related to suicide and Native American populations.
Post a response in which you address the following:
Identify elements of Dr. Sommers-Flanagan’s suicide risk assessment.
Describe any personal emotional responses you would have to Tommi’s revelations and reflect on reasons you might experience these emotions.
Describe the elements of safety planning that you would put in place as Tommi’s social worker in the first week and in the first months.
Identify a suicide risk assessment tool you would use at future sessions to identify changes in her risk level. Explain why you would use this tool.
Explain any adjustments or enhancements that might be helpful given Tommi’s cultural background. Support your ideas with scholarly resources.
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