Table 1.

Examples of Adolescents at Low, Moderate, and High Risk for Suicide

Low risk
 Took 5 ibuprofen tablets after argument with girlfriend
 Impulsive; told mother 15 minutes after taking pills
 No serious problems at home or school
 Occasionally feels “down” but has no history of depression or serious emotional problems
 Has a number of good friends
 Wants help resolving problems and is no longer considering suicide after interview
Moderate risk
 Suicidal ideation precipitated by recurrent fighting with parents and failing grades in school
 Wants to “get back” at parents
 Cut both wrists while at home alone; called friend 30 minutes later
 Parents separated, changed school this semester, history of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
 Symptoms of depression for the last 2 months, difficulty controlling temper
 Binge drinking on the weekends
 Answers all the questions during the interview, agrees to see a therapist if parents get counseling, will contact the interviewer if  suicidal thoughts return
High risk
 Thrown out of house by parents for smoking marijuana at school, girlfriend broke up with him last night, best friend killed in auto  crash last month
 Wants to be dead; sees no purpose in living
 Took father's gun; is going to shoot himself where “no one can find me”
 Gets drunk every weekend and uses marijuana daily
 Hates parents and school; has run away from home twice and has not gone to school for 6 weeks
 Hospitalized in the past because he “lost it”
 Does not want to answer many of the questions during the interview and hates “shrinks”