Suicide Risk

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; 2003), 29,350 people died as a result of suicide in 2000. It has also been estimated that 1 of every 60 Americans has experienced the loss of a loved one due to suicide, and it follows that many more personally know someone who committed suicide. Although there is no annual national data on the number of attempted suicides, it has been reported that there are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides to 1 completion.

The evaluation and management of suicidal risk is a source of great stress for most mental health practitioners (Corey, Corey, and Callanan, 1993). Because the question is not “if”, rather “when” will a counselor deal with a suicidal client? awareness and training in suicide assessment and intervention is paramount.
As a counselor-in-training it is important to begin training in suicidology. This module is designed to begin to facilitate awareness of the information and processes of suicide assessment and intervention. Much of the information presented is applicable to a variety of populations. There is a great deal of information on suicide assessment and intervention as it relates to specific client populations. It is recommended that counselors engage in on-going training in issues related to working with clients who are suicidal.

If you are a counselor-in-training concerned about a client in your care, it is highly recommended that you seek consultation with a supervisor or instructor.


This section is designed to familiarize you with:


This section is designed to help you apply your learning to professional practice: