(1) Communication with patient should explicitly convey a message of caring
and hope that solutions to patient's problems can be found. Convey your willingness to
listen and understand.
(2) Assessment of suicidal risk is not easily accomplished. If there is any
suspicion of possible suicidal intentions, the medical specialist should refer the individual
to specially trained personnel such as 91X (mental health specialist).
(3) If an individual should confront the medical specialist with immediate
means of suicide on his person (such as medication, knife. or gun), intervention may be
necessary, but extreme caution should be exercised so as not to endanger other people
b. Take Appropriate Intervention Actions. Notify your immediate supervisor or
non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of possible need for intervention, without delay.
Do not leave the individual alone at any time; he might kill himself.
(1) If physical and psychosocial symptoms are observed and indirect verbal
and behavioral warning signs are noted, discuss the situation with the NCOIC or professional
personnel in accordance with (IAW) local directives.
(2) If physical and psychosocial symptoms are observed and direct verbal
and behavioral warning signs are noted, contact professional medical personnel by
emergency call. Proceed IAW local directives.
(3) You may accompany individual to referral agency or to consulting
professional for assessment or turn the individual over to the official transportation
arranged for by professional personnel.
As a medical specialist, you should become familiar with and knowledgeable about
potential suicidal patients. Awareness of presuicidal symptoms and signs could lead to
intervention and prevention. Surely all of us experience times in our lives when we simply
cannot face another day, when life just doesn't seem worth the agony and pain it forces
us to endure. Yet, however "appropriate" and strong these feelings of utter hopelessness
seem to be, and the fleeting impulse to end it all, most of us don't give into the impulse.
The most important response to any suicide threat is to take it seriously--as if someone's
life depended on your being concerned.