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Providers: Learn Basic Steps to Assess Suicide Risk of Service Members

By following basic steps for suicide risk assessment, providers can mitigate risk of overdose for patients starting opioid therapy
Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

A recent Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) Clinician’s Corner blog highlighted what providers need to know to complete a comprehensive suicide risk assessment. Dr. Jennifer Tucker, a clinical psychologist at DHCC, discussed the specific questions providers should ask, what information to gather from the patient, and how to evaluate common risk and protective factors.

The increasing focus on stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. has highlighted the risk for opioid overdose in individuals who are or become suicidal while taking opioids. In order to mitigate overdose risk, the 2017 PDF: VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain  advises prescribers and other clinicians working with opioids to assess their patients for suicide risk before initiating long-term opioid therapy as well as when continuing treatment.

For a comprehensive suicide risk assessment, you will need to ask service members numerous questions about their suicide-related thoughts and behaviors. 

Read the full article, “Basic Steps of a Suicide Risk Assessment for Providers Serving Military Populations” on the DHCC blog page to learn more.

 

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This page was last updated on: September 14, 2017.