Domain 11. Safety-protection
Class 3. Violence
Diagnostic Code: 00289
Nanda label: Risk for suicidal behavior
Diagnostic focus: Suicidal behavior
Introduction to Nursing Diagnosis for Risk for Suicidal Behavior
Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide. Each year, it is estimated that close to 800,000 people die from suicide and many more attempt to take their own lives. Risk for suicidal behavior is a nursing diagnosis that is used to assess, identify, and support clients who are at an increased risk of suicidal ideation and/or attempts. This diagnosis is an important part of the nursing process that can play a role in helping to detect, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions which can make people more likely to consider suicide as an option.
NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition
The NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition states that risk for suicidal behavior is an assessment of the actual or potential tendencies in an individual to engage in behavior that could lead to self-inflicted harm or death. This definition further defines the condition as being characterized by evidence of significant psychological distress related to life events, physical or mental illnesses, or other factors.
There are several different risk factors for risk for suicidal behavior. These can include:
- Mental Illness – Individuals with severe mental illness such depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, or schizophrenia may be at an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
- Substance Abuse – Substance abuse can increase the risk of risk for suicidal behavior, as it can impair judgement and exacerbate symptoms of mental health conditions.
- Family History – Having a family history of suicide or mental illness may increase the risk of suicidal behavior.
- Childhood Trauma – Childhood trauma, such as abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences may increase the risk of suicidal behavior.
- Gender – Males tend to have higher rates of suicide, although females attempt suicide at higher rates.
- Access to Firearms – People with access to firearms may be at a higher risk for suicidal behaviors.
- Age – Younger people are more likely to consider suicide and elderly people are more likely to complete suicide.
At Risk Population
People who may be at an increased risk for suicidal behavior include:
- Adolescents – Adolescents who are dealing with issues such as peer pressure, bullying, academic pressure, or social media pressures may be more likely to consider suicide.
- Veterans – Veterans who are coping with post-war stress, depression, physical disability, survivor’s guilt, or other mental health issues may be more likely to consider suicide.
- Prisoners – Prisoners may face multiple stressors such as loneliness, isolation, loss of freedom, institutional environment, and fear which can lead to increased risk of suicide.
- LGBTQI+ Individuals – People who identify as LGBTQI+ may have difficulty finding acceptance and understanding from those around them, and thus may be more likely to struggle with mental health issues and consider suicide.
There are various associated conditions that are related to risk for suicidal behavior. These can include:
- Depression – Depression is a common mental illness that is classified as an abnormal mood disorder and can lead to feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or despair, all of which can lead to suicidal tendencies.
- Substance Abuse – Substance abuse can impair judgement and exacerbate symptoms of mental health conditions and can thus drive someone to contemplate and/or attempt suicide.
- Chronic Illness – Chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s can take a toll on quality of life and emotional wellbeing, leading to increased risk for suicidal behavior.
- Social Isolation – Social isolation can be dangerous for mental health and can lead to desperation, hopelessness, and increased risk of suicide.
Suggestions of Use
Nursing Diagnosis – Risk for Suicidal Behavior should be used as a tool to evaluate, identify, and provide support for individuals who are at an increased risk of engaging in suicidal thoughts and/or behaviours. It is important to use this diagnosis with sensitivity and compassion as it involves a very sensitive subject matter. It is also important to be aware of any red flags such as any verbalizations of suicidal thought and/or any signs of planning or preparation of a suicide attempt. Nurses should also be aware of any changes in behaviour that could indicate an increase in risk of suicidal behavior and address these changes accordingly.
Suggested Alternative NANDA Nursing Diagnosis
Here are some suggested alternatives for NANDA Nursing Diagnosis – Risk for Suicidal Behavior:
- Impaired Adjustment – This diagnosis evaluates an individual’s ability to adjust to environmental changes or significant limitations in lifestyle due to a physical or mental illness.
- Grieving – This diagnosis looks at the responses to death or sickness of a loved one, whether immediate or prolonged.
- Suicidal Ideation – This diagnosis is used to evaluate ideas and plans of self-harm.
- Altered Coping – This diagnosis refers to ineffective coping strategies or physical, psychological, or social functioning used to adapt to changes or stressors.
When assessing for Nursing Diagnosis – Risk for Suicidal Behavior, it is important to assess the individual holistically and to evaluate both the physical and mental aspects of the person. This includes looking at the person’s current life situation, history of mental health conditions, past and present experiences, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviours.
These are some of the NOC Outcomes that may be applicable when assessing for Risk for Suicidal Behavior:
- Self-Harm – Identifying the client’s thoughts or behaviour related to harm to oneself.
- Suicidal Ideation – Evaluating thoughts of taking one’s own life.
- Suicide Preventive Measures – Identifying prevention measures to reduce the risk of self-injury, such as the client utilizing safety precautions, avoiding access to lethal means, and identifying a safety plan.
- Coping – Evaluating the client’s ability to utilize positive coping strategies in order to manage stress and adapt to changes in environment.
- Risk Identification– Assessing the client’s risk level of attempting suicide as well as identifying possible triggers of such behaviour.
Evaluation Objectives and Criteria
When assessing for Risk for Suicidal Behavior, it is important to be aware of and to assess for any signs of suicidal ideation or behaviours, any negative coping strategies, and any risk factors that may increase the risk of suicidal behaviour. Other objectives and criteria can include:
- Assess for mental health issues – it is important to assess for any mental health issues that the individual may be facing and to assess the level of support being provided for the individual.
- Assess for any changes in behaviour – it is important to be aware of any changes in behaviour that may indicate an increased risk of suicidal behaviour, such as social isolation, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, changes in energy levels, etc.
- Ensure safety – nurses should ensure that the client is in a safe environment, free from access to any potential means of self-harm and that there is a safety plan in place.
- Educate the client – it is important to educate the client about the signs and symptoms of increased risk of suicide and about available resources for help and support.
The following NIC interventions may be used when assessing for Risk for Suicidal Behavior:
- Suicide Prevention – This intervention focuses on providing education and strategies to reduce risk of suicide. This can include creating a safety plan and identifying available support system and resources.
- Mental Health Support– This intervention requires collaboration with other health professionals and utilizes appropriate strategies to support and improve the client’s overall mental health.
- Risk Reduction – This intervention focuses on identifying and reducing the risk factors of suicide, such as access to lethal means and substance abuse.
- Psychosocial Support– This intervention focuses on nurturing the client’s emotional wellbeing and providing support and encouragement for the client to help increase their resilience.
When assessing for Risk for Suicidal Behavior, some nursing activities that may be used include:
- Assessment – Assessment of the individual’s mental and physical health, risk factors, coping skills, and overall support is necessary in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the individual.
- Documentation – Proper documentation of the individual’s condition including their assessments, interventions, and treatments is important.
- Collaboration – Collaborating with other members of the healthcare team, family members, and support systems is important in providing comprehensive care to the individual.
- Advocacy – Advocating for the individual’s rights, needs, and wishes is important in order to provide quality care to the individual.
Nursing Diagnosis – Risk for Suicidal Behavior is an important nursing diagnosis that assesses and identifies individuals who are at an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and/or behaviours. In order to properly assess for this diagnosis, it is important to be aware of the risk factors, associated conditions, and potential interventions. It is also important to ensure that proper documentation and collaboration among the healthcare team is maintained in order to provide the best care possible.
What is Risk for Suicidal Behavior?
Risk for Suicidal Behavior is a nursing diagnosis that is used to assess and identify individuals who are at an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and/or behaviours.
Are there any risk factors for Risk for Suicidal Behavior?
Yes, there are several different risk factors that may contribute to Risk for Suicidal Behavior, such as mental illness, substance abuse, family history, childhood trauma, gender, access to firearms, and age.
What are some associated conditions with Risk for Suicidal Behavior?
Some associated conditions with Risk for Suicidal Behavior include depression, substance abuse, chronic illness, and social isolation.
What are some NOC Outcomes for Risk for Suicidal Behaviour?
Some NOC outcomes for Risk for Suicidal Behaviour include Self-Harm, Suicidal Ideation, Suicide Preventative Measures, Coping and Risk Identification.
What are some nursing activities for assessing for Risk for Suicidal Behavior?
Nursing activities for assessing for Risk for Suicidal Behavior include Assessment, Documentation, Collaboration, and Advocacy.