Evidence-based assessment/Instruments/Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale
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. 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
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.
- Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
- EffectiveChildTherapy.Org information on self-injurious thoughts and behaviors