Researchers Need the Most Effective Tool for Assessing Suicide Risk

Whether assessing suicidal ideation and behavior for an academic study or for clinical trials, researchers around the world need a risk assessment tool that’s valid, reliable, and widely accepted. That gives more weight and credence to the work of researchers who are leading the way in finding ways to prevent suicide, and to the results of clinical trials that help pharmaceutical companies ensure the safety of new drugs that can benefit millions of people worldwide.

The Project provides a separate webpage with information specific to the use of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) in pharmaceutical company-funded research, including licensing requirements.

The C-SSRS Is Helping Researchers

The evidence-supported C-SSRS is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and often referred to as the gold standard for suicide risk assessment. It has been used in countless academic studies and clinical trials around the world. The C-SSRS is the ideal risk assessment tool for researchers because it’s:

  • Evidence-supported. An unprecedented amount of research has validated the relevance and effectiveness of the questions used in the C-SSRS to assess suicide risk, making it the most evidence-based tool of its kind. Numerous studies support the psychometric properties of the C-SSRS, attesting to the scale’s divergent, predictive, and incremental validity, as well as to its sensitivity to change, internal consistency, and inter-rater reliability.
  • Simple. Ask all the questions in a few moments or minutes — with no mental health training required to ask them.
  • Universal. The C-SSRS is suitable for all ages and special populations in different settings and is available in more than 100 country-specific languages. This includes versions that provide ways of asking the questions of younger children and people with autism, dementia, or other developmental or intellectual disabilities.
  • Effective. Real-world experience and data show that the scale has helped prevent suicide.
  • Efficient. Use of the scale redirects resources to where they’re needed most. It reduces unnecessary referrals and interventions by more accurately identifying who needs help — and makes it easier to correctly determine the level of support a person needs, such as patient safety monitoring procedures, counseling, or emergency room care.