A risk for suicide nursing care plan should identify any problems that led to the patient’s behavior. If the patient displayed behavioral and verbal cues during nursing care, it is likely that he or she was thinking about suicide. Suicidal ideation increases the patient’s risk for suicide. Suicidal ideation has been linked to previous suicide attempts and can increase the risk of suicide. If a patient has attempted suicide before, their risk increases even more.

Assessment of suicidal potential

The assessment of suicidal potential in nursing care planning is vital for determining a patient’s risk for suicide and the factors that led up to the decision. Nurses must be aware of factors that contribute to the likelihood of suicidal behavior, such as whether the patient is in a suicidal state at the time of self-harm, or if they are attempting suicide. Direct questions are vital to determining the level of suicidal ideation and the severity of the intention. Although nursing staff may be hesitant to ask the patient directly about the possibility of suicide, most patients find this question to be a welcome relief and relieved to be asked.

The role of nurses in suicide prevention is vital to the overall health and well-being of the patient. Suicidal patients present unique challenges to their health care. The role of the nurse in such a situation is particularly vital. Suicidality is one of the most common sentinel events in hospitals. Nurses are uniquely qualified to diagnose and intervene in these situations. Moreover, their unique position gives them the opportunity to assess patients for suicidal behavior, and to prevent its recurrence.

Nonverbal behavioral clues

In many health care settings, clinicians rely on verbal statements to assess patient mental health. However, such verbal statements may be of little use because they may be affected by the interviewer’s expectations. Non-verbal behavior is an increasingly important tool for assessing mental health. Health practitioners must become more sensitive to non-verbal cues. Here are some signs to look for in a patient’s non-verbal communication.

Often, nonverbal behavioral clues can be a warning sign of a person’s intent to take their own life. Such behaviors include giving away possessions or organizing financial affairs. While some somatic cues may mask internalized stress or physiological pain, emotional clues can indicate suicide ideation. They may be irritable, hopeless, or aggressive. Sudden change in mood may also indicate a suicide decision.

Follow-up counseling

Following up with patients who have a risk of suicide is an important aspect of the overall care plan. This plan can include psychiatric diagnoses, nursing interventions, and outcomes. In addition, the plan should include any treatment options for the patient. Some common diagnoses include post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and somatoform disorders. To learn more about the benefits of follow-up care, read Geddes et al.

A well-functioning follow-up plan should be a critical component of a discharge plan for patients with suicidal ideation. It should begin the day the patient enters the emergency department, and continue until the patient has fully recovered and is back on the road to recovery. A mental health assessment must be completed before patients can be discharged. Various methods such as patient disclosure and universal screening can identify patients with a high risk of suicide. Using the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Decision Support Tool can identify these patients, determine the appropriate disposition, and determine whether discharge is appropriate.

Hospital admission in high-risk patients

One of the most important questions about psychiatric hospital admission is whether admission can prevent suicide. Suicidal patients are often placed in a psychiatric hospital when their risks for suicide are high. The question of whether hospital admission can prevent suicide is a matter of great debate among professionals. Although two recent studies found no association between hospital admission and suicide risk in the Netherlands, other studies have suggested that admission can increase suicide risk.

Psychiatrists can assess whether a patient is at risk for suicide by conducting an Initial Treatment Interview (ITI). This interview helps professionals understand the current level of risk for suicide. The patient will be evaluated again during a follow-up visit after discharge to assess if their risk of suicide has decreased. The patient’s condition will also be monitored to make sure that psychiatric care is effective.