Risks Action
Low risk
  • Suicidal thoughts are fleeting and soon dismissed;
  • No plan;
  • Few or no signs of depression;
  • No signs of psychosis (delusional thoughts and behaviours);
  • No self-harming behaviour;
  • Current situation felt to be painful but bearable.
  • Ease distress as far as possible. Consider what may be done to resolve difficulties;
  • Link to other sources of support;
  • Make use of line management or supervision to discuss particular cases and concerns;
  • Review and reassess at agreed intervals;
  • Consider completing a Common Assessment Framework (CAF).
Raised risk
  • Suicidal thoughts are frequent but still fleeting;
  • No specific plan or immediate intent;
  • Evidence of current mental disorder, especially depression or psychosis;
  • Significant drug or alcohol use;
  • Situation felt to be painful, but no immediate crisis;
  • Previous, especially recent, suicide attempt;
  • Current self-harm.
  • Ease distress as far as possible. Consider what may be done to resolve difficulties;
  • Consider safety of young person, including possible discussion with parents/carers or other significant figures;
  • Seek specialist advice;
  • Possible mental health assessment - discussion with, for example primary mental health worker, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) or G.P.;
  • Consider consent issues for the above;
  • Consider increasing levels of support/professional input;
  • Review and reassess at agreed intervals - likely to be quicker than if risk is low.
High risk
  • Frequent suicidal thoughts, which are not easily dismissed;
  • Specific plans with access to potentially lethal means;
  • Evidence of current mental illness;
  • Significant drug or alcohol use;
  • Situation felt to be causing unbearable pain or distress;
  • Increasing self-harm, either frequency, potential lethality or both.
  • Ease distress as far as possible. Consider what may be done to resolve difficulties;
  • Safety - discussion with parents/carers or other significant figures more likely;
  • CAMHS referral;
  • Consider consent issues;
  • Consider increasing levels of support/professional input in the mean time;
  • Monitor in light of level of CAMHS involvement.
N.B. at any time during assessment and review emergency medical treatment may be found to be necessary or child protection concerns may be raised.