Assessment and management of suicide risk in children and adolescents
Pettit, J.W., Buitron, V., & Green, K.L.
This article presents a pragmatic approach to assessing and managing suicide risk in children and adolescents. We first present general recommendations for conducting risk assessments with children and adolescents, followed by an algorithm for designating risk. Risk assessment and designation should be based on both distal (i.e., a prior history of self-harm behaviors) and proximal (i.e., suicide ideation, plans, intent, and preparations) predictors of suicide attempt. We then discuss safety planning as an easy-to-implement approach for intervening and managing suicide risk when working with children and adolescents. We end with a case example illustrating the implementation of risk assessment, risk designation, and safety planning with an adolescent client and her mother.