Evidence-based assessment/Instruments/Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale

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The Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale, or C-SSRS, is a suicidal ideation rating scale created by researchers at Columbia University to evaluate suicidality in children ages 12 and up.[1] It rates an individual's degree of suicidal ideation on a scale, ranging from "wish to be dead" to "active suicidal ideation with specific plan and intent." Questions are phrased for use in an interview format, but the C-SSRS may be completed as a self-report measure if necessary. The scale identifies behaviors which may be indicative of an individual's intent to commit suicide. An individual exhibiting even a single behavior identified by the scale was 8 to 10 times more likely to commit suicide.

The "Lifetime/Recent version allows practitioners to gather lifetime history of suicidality as well as any recent suicidal ideation and/or behavior." The "Since Last Visit version of the scale assesses suicidality since the patient’s last visit." The "Screener version of the C-SSRS is a truncated form of the Full Version" designed for "first responders, in ER settings and crisis call centers, for non-mental health users like teachers or clergy or in situations where frequent monitoring is required." The "Risk Assessment Page provides a checklist for protective and risk factors for suicidality."

Scoring and interpretation[edit | edit source]

This measure contains 6 "yes" or "no" questions in which respondents are asked to indicate whether they have experienced several thoughts or feelings relating to suicide over the past month. Each question addresses a different component of the respondent's suicide ideation severity.

  • Question 1: desire to be dead
  • Question 2: suicidal thoughts
  • Questions 3-5: more specific suicidal thoughts and intent
  • Question 6: suicidal behavior over the respondent’s lifetime
  • If the respondent answers "yes" to Question 2, he/she is instructed to answer Questions 3-5. If the respondent answers "no" to Question 2, he/she may skip to Question 6.

Comprehensive scoring information is only available to trained and certified administrators, but an answer of "yes" to any of the six questions may indicate a need for referral to a trained mental health professional.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale".