This is a very rough guide to how to do a Mental Health Assessment. Please adjust this as necessary per situation. While this information is written to the best of our ability, this information has not been independently verified and may contain errors. We are not responsible for any harm done to anyone by following this guide.
Immediate Risk Factors
- Family history of mental health disorder, suicide or self-harm.
- Recent traumatic events, including loss of family members.
- History of previous suicide attempts
- History of self-harm.
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Personality disorder
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Minority - eg. transgender person, LGBTQIA+, etc.
- Access to means of suicide/self-harm.
Other Risk Factors
- Physical illness, including terminal.
- Unemployment, disability, not in education/work.
- Abused by parents, coworkers, strangers, relatives, etc.
- Recent stress.
- Exposure to triggers, including the death a person to suicide.
- Recent inpatient stay at a mental health facility or hospital.
- Responsibility, including for young children
- Social support
- Happy marriage/relationship
- Religious belief
- Financial security
If there are many risk factors involved, and not enough supportive factors, they are at a high risk of suicide. They need to be watched carefully, and referred to a psychologist or at the least, a General Practitioner (family doctor).
See below if the person is currently potentially suicidal.
Questions to ask potentially suicidal people
Are you in danger of harm to yourself or anyone else at the moment? If so, jump to Section 4.
How do you feel about life? Do you feel that life is worth living?
Signs may involve the following:
- Becoming highly irritable, having mood swings, etc.
- Sleeping too much, sleeping too little.
- Problems with work or education.
- Saying more negative things about themselves than usual.
- Talking about being hopeless
- Saying repeatedly 'I'm fine'
- Talking about how they have a way to solve their problems, and that everything will be fine
Closely monitor them.
Have you had any thoughts or visual imagery to end your life?
They are more likely to carry it out, if it is in the form of visual imagery.
If so, advise to talk to a doctor/therapist/psychologist.
Have you taken any action towards ending your life?
Action may involve the following:
- Giving away possessions, saying goodbyes.
- Use of alcohol or drugs.
- Self-harming (but not always as a means to suicide)
Make a safety plan if one is not already in place. Use the safety plan if there is one. Consider emergency services. Consider a hotline if applicable.
Do you have a current plan to end your life?
1. Obtaining a method to kill themselves (eg. OD, self-harm with weapons such as knives and razors, buying rope, buying drugs, etc)
Or, 2. being in a situation where they can possibly kill themselves (jumping off a cliff, train, building, intentional electrocution, burning themselves to death, etc)
If this is the case - call emergency services NOW/follow safety plan if one has been made.
Are you at risk of suicide right now?
If this is the case - Call emergency services NOW.
It may be useful to ask people where they are on this scale.
I am feeling...
- Insane happiness
- Pretty happy
- Not the best day, but on the balance of things, meh.
- Off-hand remarks, 'death might not be so bad'
- Low-key want to die
- Passively thinking about suicide
- Flirting with suicide
- Suicide is an option, but I don't really want to do it
- Actively planning a suicide.
- I WILL GET HURT.