Suicidal Intent

    Include, if the person’s behavior is demonstrating suicidal intent.

    This would apply if any of the following are answered with “yes”:

    • Did the person leave a suicide note?
    • Was the act carried out in isolation?
    • Did the method used require planning and/or effort?
    • Were precautions taken to avoid discovery?
    • Without intervention would the chosen method have resulted in death?
    • Is the person expressing a desire to die?
    • Is the person refusing to cooperate with treatment?

    Assessment of suicide intent can be assisted by – but does not solely depend on – the administration of scales, some of which are the following: Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (2), Reasons for Living Inventory (3), Suicide Probability Scale (4), Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (5). For further reading on intent, see references (6, 7, 8, 9).

    Action  =  Include

    Vignette Example – Suicidal Intent

    Admission Notes: 49-year-old female semi-conscious. Brought in by her husband. Found empty packets of Olanzapine 10mg x 20, Venlafaxine 3g, plus empty strip of paracetamol (500mg x 36). Husband also recovered suicide note and reports that this is a second attempt.

    Behaviour:  Withdrawn but calm. Refusing treatment. Says she did not want to be found and best for everyone if she is allowed to die.