Suicidal behaviour has been documented in almost every country and was the second leading cause of death in 2012 among persons aged 15 to 29 (World Health Organization, 2014). Each year, up to one million people die by suicide worldwide. Suicide is a global challenge for medical and mental health organizations, and presents a significant systemic burden if not managed effectively (Knox & Caine, 2005). Currently, there appears to be an over-reliance on the use of “checklist” methods for assessing suicide risk (e.g., SAD PERSONS; Patterson, Dohn, Bird, & Patterson, 1983), and a great need for empirically guided risk assessment approaches that utilize the advantages of clinical or professional judgment, rather than relying solely on the outcome of quantitative or checklist measures (Range, 2005). Strict quantitative or statistical approaches often do not adequately capture the range of dispositional and contextual factors influencing risk for particular behaviours (Hart, 2008; Hart & Cooke, 2013). Thus, the purpose of the current project will be to conduct a systematic and selected review of the literature and develop a set of structured professional judgment guidelines for assessing suicide risk.
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Thesis advisor: Chapman, Alexander L.
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