Risk Assessments And Assessment Tools Regarding Violence, Suicidal And Homicidal Ideation

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Jane is a 25 year old female who presents at a public hospital. Jane is well known to this hospital as she has had six previous admissions and had recently spent four weeks in the inpatient unit prior to being discharged after setting fire to a bed. All of her previous admissions have been in the context of either threats of self harm or actual overdoses. Jane receives ongoing mental health treatment from her GP. At tonight’s hospital presentation, Jane is mildly intoxicated with alcohol and states that she is very depressed and is describing fantasies of stabbing her ex boyfriend at his home and then jumping off a nearby railway bridge. In writing this essay I have referred to relevant literature in relation to risk
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Importantly, the quality of the risk assessment is dependent on the quality of the information available. Sometimes the client’s situation requires urgent actions, and a complete assessment is not possible (Bland et al., 2009, p. 144).

A thorough risk assessment requires a consideration of both risk and protective factors. Bland et al., (2009) states that when good clinical assessment instruments are available, they should be used, combined with ‘actuarial’ knowledge about the factors associated with particular risks. However, the majority of risks are difficult to predict accurately, and importantly, approaches will always need to be combined with a professional (clinical) judgement based on the unique circumstances of each situation (Bland et al., 2009, p. 144).

When undertaking a risk assessment in relation to violence it is important to consider the safety of the clinician and it is essential to consider the clinicians experience and their own anxiety when confronted with a significant risk. Safety considerations may be that the individual will need to be in restraints or security personal is available, panic buttons, duress alarms or physical secured barrier between patient and clinician (Thienhaus & Piasecki, 1998, p.1). Although Jane does not appear to have any history of violence towards staff, on this occasion she has presented intoxicated and has described her mood as very depressed, there is a possibility that

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