Suicide Risk Assessment

Suicide prevention and risk assessments have been a top priority in K-12 schools and are now even more crucial due to the COVID-19 emergency.

The effects of traumatic experiences can be manifested as suicidal ideation and may lead to incidents of threat to self, or self-harm, which are reported in schools. To help address this growing need, school districts need to:

  • Develop suicide prevention and assessment policies and procedures
  • Identify evidenced-based protocols for identifying and assessing students at risk
  • Implement processes for identifying, assessing, developing safety plans, and monitoring interventions and supports provided

Dr. Terri Erbacher, Strategic Partner

PCG is delighted to partner with Dr. Terri Erbacher, Ph.D. Terri is a distinguished author, speaker, consultant, and go-to subject expert source for media. She has been a certified school psychologist and licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania since 1999. Read her biography.

Feeling prepared to manage suicide risk when it presents is a challenge for clinical professionals, who often have not received training to address it.

In a 2014 report on guidelines to improve clinical workforce training by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, 93% of state credentialing/licensing boards reported requiring no suicide-specific training or coursework, and 100% said there was no requirement for suicide-specific continuing education. (Suicide Prevention and the Clinical Workforce: Guidelines for Training, p. 9)

The report goes on to recommend that all clinicians be trained to develop a basic skill set in suicide risk assessment and intervention.

Suicide Risk Assessment (SRA)

Public Consulting Group’s (PCG’s) SRA solution gives school districts the opportunity to implement a standardized, research-driven procedure to assess a student’s suicide risk. With this tool, staff use common terminology to discuss a student’s status and make plans for appropriate care. Our SRA process guides users to gather information relevant to a student’s history, synthesize the information into a prevention-oriented suicide risk level determination, and develop a safety plan, as appropriate. It supports a range of questions for the analysis portion of the self-harm assessment, such as:

  • Suicide In Schools by Dr. Terri Erbacher, Ph.D.
  • Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)
  • Suicide Assessment Five Step Evaluation Triage (SAFE-T)
  • Combination of SAFE-T with C-SSRS

Our SRA solution outlines a clear and effective process for users to follow when performing a risk assessment. The SRA process aligns with your state and district-specific processes and procedures.

Illustration: Student Risk Assessment Process

In The United States:


Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24


More than 2.5 times as many suicides as homicides


35% increase in the total suicide rate from 1999 to 2018

PCG's Core Benefits

Graph: PCG's BTA Solution Core Benefits

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