Depression and suicide assessment

November 25, 2012 12:00 am

NOTE: This assessment is completely confidential, and results are not archived. DPHHS emphasizes that these assessment tools are only intended to identify risk factors and should be part of an overall assessment done with a health care professional. Risk determinations should include all three assessments, as well as a clinical judgement by a health care provider.


The SIGECAPS is a depression screen, often taught in medical schools.

Sleep (insomnia or hypersomnia) N 
Interests (loss of interest in activities) N 
Guilt (hopelessness, worthlessness) N 
Energy (loss of energy) N 
Concentration (poor ability to stay on task) N 
Appetite (< appetite, > 5% weight gain or loss) N 
Psychomotor (retardation or agitation) N 
Suicidality (ideation, plan, or attempts) N 
Affect (depressed mood) N 
Total Ys:0

Scoring: Five out of the nine to be present with presence of depressed mood (affect) and loss of interest included.


The SAD PERSONS screen identifies suicide risk factors, but cannot assess whether a person is suicidal.

0 (No)1 (Yes)
Sex (male)
Age (<19 or >45)
Depressive sxs (hopelessness, etc.)
Previous suicide attempts
Excessive alcohol or drug use
Rational thinking loss (poor orientation, distorted)
Separated, divorced, or widowed
Organized plan or serious attempt
No social supports, isolated
Sickness, chronic illness
(Low risk)
Additional Questions 
Is there a wish to die?
Is there a plan?
What is the method planned?
If by firearm, can the firearm be secured or locked up?
Is there a family history of suicide attempts?
Is there a history of impulsivity?
Can the person make a verbal commitment not to commit suicide?
Can the person identify anything that would prevent them from completing suicide?
Can the person identify at least two coping skills she can use when in distress?
Can the person identify two people they could call if in distress?

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