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Risk of harm

Current or past history of risk of harm to self or others has important implications for the management of a patient. In the event that a patient has previously demonstrated, or currently presents with, a risk of harm to self or others, the treating professional will need to consider a process for ongoing risk assessment and develop an appropriate management plan to reduce risk. For some patients, referral to specialised services or inpatient services may be necessary. Furthermore, for a number of mental health difficulties, knowledge of a chronic history of risk may provide further information about how the individual presents when in crisis and how to counteract or best contain risk in the community.

Principle 10: Risk assessment and planning

Health professionals conduct regular risk assessments, provide risk management plans and share information with other treating professionals as appropriate.


Practice guide: Communication between medical and mental health professionals