The risk for Suicide Care Plan | Nursing Diagnosis Writing

risk for suicide care plan

Suicide refers to the act of deliberately killing oneself. Suicide is one of the serious public health problems across the world. Most of the patients who engage in suicidal thoughts and attempts have a psychiatric disorder.

Mood disorders like depression and bipolar manic-depression are significantly the most prevalent psychiatric condition associated with suicide. Patients with schizophrenia or organic brain disorder are highly linked to having higher chances of suicide and suicide attempts as some voices telling them to hurt themselves. A nurse should come up with a comprehensive nursing care plan for the patient. 

Equally, environmental factors like losing a job, the presence of physical illnesses such as cancer or HIV AIDS, and the loss of a close family member may contribute to suicidal actions.

Also, factors like mental disorders, psychological states, substance misuse, social situations, culture, family, and genetics may affect the risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts. The various methods of suicide used by men include hanging, jumping, moving objects, vehicle exhaust gas, firearms, and asphyxiation.

On the other hand, women use suicide methods such as self-poisoning, drowning, firearms, exsanguination, and hanging.

The risk for Suicide Care Plan Diagnosis

The risk for suicide is not an illness that has an accurate diagnosis. Therefore, a nurse or caregiver can look for the following behavioral trends to determine if a patient is contemplating suicide:

  • Claims about nothing to live to for
  • Often, makes statements of despair, helplessness, and hopelessness.
  • Talk, plan, or an actual attempt to commit suicide.
  • The presence of lethal items and mean to pursue the suicide plan.
  • Suicide cues
  • Covert such as giving valuables away, taking an expensive life insurance policy, writing or changing a will
  • Overt e.g patient makes claims like “I am better off dead” or “there is nothing good about life.”

The risk for Suicide Care Plan Desired Goals and Outcomes

A nursing care plan for suicidal patients often involves providing them with a safe environment to initiate a non-suicide attitude, creating a support system, and ensure that there is close control until the patient departs from the idea. The care plan should allow the nurse to help the patient recover from the suicidal mentality and achieve these outcomes:

  • Make a no-suicide contract with a nurse if the patient is in a hospital.
  • Refrain from attempting suicide
  • Accept to stay under the watch of family or friends.
  • Agrees to subscribe to caregiver intervention and support methods
  • Attend crisis counseling including attending with family
  • Find links with community self-help support groups.
  • Adhere to the counseling appointment schedule
  • Start identifying future goals hence giving a reason to live.
  • Identify the person to contact whenever recurrence of suicidal thoughts.
  • Identify one or a few alternatives to the current situation.

The risk for Suicide Care Plan Assessment

Without a doubt, a suicidal patient will deny the act or even trying it. As such, a caregiver can determine if a patient has suicidal thoughts by making these critical assessments in order to determine what caused the patient to try suicide and define necessary interventions. 

  • Drug and alcohol abuse: Alcohol and drug abuse increase the risk of suicide. The highest risk is among patients who have substance abuse problems.
  • Assess decision-making and problem-solving energy: Impulsivity may be an element of mood and bipolar disorder. Patients may need supervision in decision-making until the mood has been stabilized.
  • Assess the need for hospitalization and safety precautions: Patient safety is always a priority. Patients with suicidal attempts should be in an environment with direct supervision.
  • Determine particular stressors: You can determine causative factors that aids in coming up with appropriate coping strategies. Suicide seemed to be an acceptable solution when an individual cannot find any more solutions to his or her problems.
  • Assess all possible and beneficial coping methods: Patients with a history of ineffective coping strategies may require new effective resources.
  • Assess the sleeping habits: A history of severe insomnia is one factor associated with suicide risk. 
  • Assess history of mood disorders: Mood disorders like depression and bipolar manic-depression are by far the most prevalent psychiatric conditions associated with suicidal tendencies.
  • Assess unexplained happiness or drive: Any sudden change of behavior may represent the individual’s decision to execute a suicide plan.
  • Assess for suicidal thoughts or statements: Most patients with suicide attempts often give verbal cues of their plans to execute suicide. The individual may talk idealistically about release from his or her life and the resolve of problems.
  •  Assess the history of suicide attempts by oneself or within the family: A history of suicide attempt only increases the risk of suicide.
  • Observe for risk factors that may increase the chance of suicide attempt: It is a myth that suicide happens without forewarning. Also, it is a myth that there is a typical type of suicidal person. Anyone can be a victim of suicide.
  • Assess all the available support resources to the patient: Depression often leads to a sense of hopelessness, and the person involved may isolate himself or herself thus may be unable to consider the available support.

Ask the Following Questions

  • “Have you ever considered harming yourself?” Suicide ideation is a way of thinking about killing oneself.  As such, the patient’s risk for suicide progresses as these thoughts heighten.
  • “Have you ever attempted suicide?”  The individual’s status of suicide risk is discerned if there is a history of previous suicide attempts.
  • “Do you currently consider committing suicide?” This question allows the patient to disclose suicidal feelings and issues openly.
  • “Do you trust yourself in maintaining control over your feelings, insights, motives, and emotions?” Persons with suicidal thoughts may sense their authority of suicidal thoughts slipping away or feel themselves surrender to a desire to end their life.
  • “What are your plans regarding committing suicide?” Mentioning a plan and the ability to carry it out greatly heighten the risk for suicide. The more harmful the plan is, the more severe the risk of suicide.

Risk for Suicide Care Plan interventions and Rationales

The risk for suicide care plan should make critical interventions that make the patient comfortable and turn around from planning suicide. The following are therapeutic nursing interventions for risk for suicide nursing diagnosis:

  • Render a close patient supervision by sustaining observations or awareness of the patient always: suicide is an impulsive act that has little or no warning. Giving close supervision is therefore a must.
  • Help the patient to overcome the suicide thoughts and crisis: Help the patient to change their perspective about line by giving them hope for the future. As a caregiver, you can do this by convincing the patient that the crisis is temporary and that there is help available and they can survive the unbearable pain.
  • Administer tranquilizer on prescription: Administer tranquilizers for one to two days when the patient is extremely anxious or has not slept for days. Relieving anxiety and restoring sleep will help the patient achieve clearer thinking and restores a sense of well-being.
  • Educate the patient in the appropriate use of prescribed medications to enable him or her to cope: Drug therapy is a great benefit to the patient, especially one enduring underlying health problems like depression.
  • Contact family members, arrange for individual and (or) family crisis counseling. Activate links to self-help groups: Re-establishing social ties and a diminishing sense of isolation and providing contact from individuals who care about the patient will be helpful.
  • Present the use of self-expression strategies to manage suicidal feelings: Patients acknowledge and safely handle suicidal feelings through programs such as keeping journals and calling hotlines.
  • Educate the patient on cognitive-behavioral self-management responses to suicidal thoughts: A patient learns to identify negative thoughts and develops positive strategies and positive thinking.
  • Discourage the patient in making decisions during serious stress: Patients can be taught how to recognize mood changes that point to problems with impulsivity or indicate a deepening depressive state.
  • Help the patient in making decisions during severe stress: Patients can be taught ways to identify situational, emotional, and interpersonal triggers as well as learn how to evaluate a problem and implement problem-solving measures before reacting.
  • Stay with the patient more often: This strategy gives the patient a sense of security and strengthens self-worth.
  • Keep accurate records of the patient’s activities: An accurate record is important when it comes to reference during a follow up on the patient’s progress and choosing the right interventions.

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