Updated: 22 September 2013
The children and young people that we work with are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society to suicide. Knowing the risk factors, triggers and indicators of suicide reminds us to be vigilant to this risk when assessing the safety of a child or young person.
This key information provides information to assist in the screening and identification of suicide risk in the children and young people that we are working with. It identifies potential immediate risk factors, behavioural warning signs and current and background risk areas.
Young people who fit a number of the categories below are of the highest risk.
Whenever possible, supportive family/whānau and caregivers (as relevant) must be involved in the process of assessment and intervention. They must be interviewed to provide information for assessment purposes, informed of risk factors identified, and engaged in planning and support for the child or young person. Their role in the ongoing work with the child or young person needs to be explicit.
Because children and young people who are known to Child Youth and Family often have a complex mix of issues, we need to be vigilant and responsive to potential suicide risk. The following information is useful as a reminder of the risk factors for suicidality (bold type indicates higher risk). It is not a checklist as other factors, events and characteristics may be significant in individual cases.
These question prompts give more details about questions you can ask when talking with children and young people who are at risk of suicide.
Dysfunctional coping styles
Abusive/inadequate social networks