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During the risk assessment with client Adam Donovan, I tried to view the scenario
through the lens of the 5 step SAFE-T evaluation to identify risk factors, protective
factors, and use suicide inquiry skills when examining the response options
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2009). Still, I did want
to ensure validation of the client’s feelings and elicit further information when
appropriate without causing perseveration on negative thoughts. However, even
before the suicidal ideation reached an active planning stage regarding alcohol and
pills, I had already begun to choose the option for reporting to my supervisor first, as
is required of my role as an intern with the Bright Side Family (Walden University,
LLC., 2022). While the Bright Side Family has a variety of branches, in this assignment
I focused my thoughts on Bright Side Manor, the assisted living facility. I had a candid
discussion with my supervisor about suicidal ideation during one of our first
discussions. Right as I was coming onboard, there was an incident with suicidal
ideation at the Manor with a resident. The resident required 1:1 observation as well
as continued support throughout the day. Elizabeth was preparing me to start
working with her, focusing on connection, strengths and renewing old hobbies.
However, during my first week, the resident eloped from her 1:1, made it outside
with an exiting group, and attempted to injure herself on the concrete stairs to the
basement. She has been in a more restricted environment since then as she recovers
and receives talk therapy to prepare for returning to the manor. As such, if she
returns during the following weeks of field, the on-site social worker and I will be
working together closely and it is imperative that I understand the policies and
procedures that will best assist and keep the resident safe. For interns, resident or
client shares about suicidal ideation must be immediately reported to the on-site
mentor as well as the supervisor, even if it may seem like a passing comment, joke, or
thought. The social worker will then conduct an informal assessment to gain further
information, or a more formal screening if the reported observation was of higher
degree, such as having planning and/or current actions associated.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2009). SAFE-T
evaluation and triage card.
https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma09-4432.pdfLinks to an
external site.
Walden University, LLC. (2022). Suicide risk assessment [Interactive media]. Walden
University Canvas. https://waldenu.instructure.com
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