Skip to main content
Table of contents

Suicide prevention – Risk assessment in general practice

An effective treatment plan that supports and manages clients at risk of suicide should be informed by a thorough risk assessment.23 A risk assessment is a direct conversation with a patient about their suicidal thoughts, plans and intent; it is a matter-of-fact empathetic conversation that allows patients to discuss suicide openly.

A suicide risk assessment brings together key information about a patient’s current mental state, any current or previous risk and protective factors, any key stresses contributing to the risk, and a review of current supports. It is the combination of these factors and identified warning signs that contribute to a patient’s overall level of risk for suicide.


  1. Sivasankaran B. Mental health risk assessment: A guide for GPs. Aust Fam Physician 2011;40(6):366–69.  [Accessed 30 May 2016].


Suicide prevention and first aid a resource for GPs