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Suicide Check List

Suicidal Person Checklist

Two questions should be uppermost in every officer’s mind: 


1. Is the person at risk of suicide?
2. What should the search strategy be? 


In order to assess whether the missing person may be at risk of suicide, a large number of inter-related factors need to be considered. The following questions may prove useful in order to ensure that full and sufficient enquiry / risk assessment is made.


Suicide notes / intent 

  • Is there a suicide note on this occasion?
  • Where was the note located?
  • What does the note contain?
  • Had the missing person talked about committing suicide? If they have access to a computer, have they visited any ‘suicide websites’? 
  • Have they done anything out of character / unusual recently i.e. become more affectionate? 


Previous suicide attempts 

  • Has the missing person previously attempted suicide?
  • If so, what were the circumstances – methods; times; dates? What were the locations of these attempts? 


Mental illness 

  • Has the missing person been diagnosed with a mental illness? If yes, what is the nature of the illness?
  • What is their current mental state (i.e., when last seen by informant)?


Drugs / Medication 

  • Was the missing person known to have been taking any drugs/medication?
  • What was the name and nature/purpose of these drugs? Are the drugs prescribed or illegal? 
  • Were they known to have consumed any just prior to their disappearance?
  • If so, was this known to be an excessive amount?
  • Has the person failed to take their prescribed medication? What affect has/will this have in relation to their behaviour / mood?Could they have ‘stock piled’ their medication in order to overdose?
  • Is there any indication of alcohol consumption immediately prior to their disappearance?


Residential circumstances 

  • What is the nature of the missing person’s residential circumstances?
  • Do they live in a predominantly rural or urban area? Does the missing person live alone?