Risk Assessment


Risk Assessment should include consideration of past and present behaviours, as well as any protective factors. 

It is common practice to use a standardised form of risk assessment, which may be specific to your health board.

Some risk areas to consider are:

  • Self-harm
  • Suicide
  • Alcohol
  • Illicit substances
  • Driving
  • Any children involved
  • Self-neglect
  • Harm to others
  • Violence and aggression
  • Exploitation by others
  • Physical health
  • Falls
  • Absconding

Some specific considerations in relation to risk assessment following self-harm or suicide attempt can be seen in the following table. It can be helpful to structure your assessment to explore what happened before, during and after the event. There is also a helpful framework for assessing risk to self in the resources section below.


Social context? 

Mental illness? 

Substance misuse? 

Any previous attempts of self harm/suicide? 

Any trigger for this attempt? 

Was it planned or impulsive? 

Any final acts? E.g. Writing a note, writing a will 

Lethality of the attempt? 

Perceived lethality?  

Thoughts during the attempt? 

Did they try to prevent their discovery? 

How did they come to the attention of services? 

Did they tell someone? 

Any regret? 

Any ongoing intent? 

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 03/04/2024

Next review date: 03/04/2025

Author(s): Medical Education Fellow, NHS Lothian.

Author email(s): mypsych@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

Approved By: NHSGGC MyPsych Editorial Board

Reviewer name(s): NHSGGC MyPsych Editorial Board.