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Please take some time to read the following scenario carefully. Questions concerning this scenario will be found on subsequent pages.

Suicide Assessment Scenario

James is a 44 year-old Caucasian male police officer. He has come to see you following several big changes in his life. First, he has just received a demotion at work, from Staff Sergeant of first watch, to Beat Officer of the night watch, due to a run in with his superior officer and a number of job performance problems that have been building over the last 8 months. These job performance problems included a suspension for showing up at work intoxicated. Second, he has just been separated from his wife of 16 years, and has had to move back in with his parents, since he cannot afford to pay child support and maintain a residence of his own. His wife has moved to another state with their two children. She has filed a restraining order against him, since he made statements to her with implied threats of violence if she would not allow him to see his kids.

Based upon the material presented in this training program, take about 10-15 minutes to plan and prepare how you would conduct a suicide assessment for the client presented in this scenario. Give some thought to the risk factors you would look for, and which questions you would emphasize in a client interview.

In order to help organize your thinking in this exercise, we will present some questions for you to consider on the following page.

Question 1: What risk factors can you identify for this client based upon the information given?

Question 2: What third parties, if any, do you think may be useful to contact as part of this assessment process?

Question 3: What concerns do you have, if any, about how to approach the topic of suicidality with this client?

Question 4: If suicidality is present, what steps might need to be considered first in stabilizing this client and keeping him safe?

Take your time in preparing your answers to these questions, then compare them with the analysis on the pages to follow.