Suicide is a major, preventable public health problem. The general factor of psychopathology (“p” factor) might help improve detection and prediction of individuals at risk for suicide. This cross-sectional proof-of-concept study tests whether the p-factor score is associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STB) better than a depression scale alone. Youth (N = 841; mean age 18.02, SD = 3.36) in primary care were universally screened using the Behavioral Health Screen (BHS). Factor analysis and ROC results showed the BHS assesses the p-factor, and the p-factor score demonstrates higher classification accuracy of several types of STB than a depression scale. The p-factor could help clinicians in the identification of youths with STB.