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Columbia Suicide Severity Risk Scale (C-SSRS)

For those of you who are not yet familiar with it, I would like to introduce the Columbia Suicide Severity Risk Scale (C-SSRS). The C-SSRS is comprised of a series of simple questions used to assess the severity and immediacy of a suicide risk. One of the benefits of the scale (among many) is that the questions can be asked by anyone including family and friends.  

This tool was initially developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pittsburg to reduce suicide risk among adolescents. The scale was developed in response to the need for a singular tool that could more precisely assess the full range of thoughts and behavior and identify individuals at risk of ending their lives.  

Not only has the scale been translated into 150 languages, it has also been implemented in many settings including schools, hospitals, college campuses, fire departments, the criminal justice system, primary care settings, the military, and New Bridge Foundation.  

Research has indicated that the C-SSRS is evidence-based and works in helping predict those who are at risk. More than 600 peer-review studies have demonstrated its use and validity including a recent study in Sweden where scientists found that the C-SSRS screens “robustly” predicted death by suicide over one-week, one month, and one-year periods.  

The C-SSRS is comprised of six questions (http://www.cms.gov>files>document>CSSRS-SC). While a yes answer to any of the questions indicates that the individual should seek a behavioral health referral, a positive answer to any of the last three questions advises that immediate help be secured.  

Each year, more than 700,00 people worldwide die by suicide. Many more than that attempt to end their lives. Suicide, however, is preventable and studies indicate that when at risk individuals are identified and connect to care, then lives can be saved.  

New Bridge Foundation has been providing compassionate care and treatment to individuals suffering from substance use disorder for over 50 years. In addition to being CARF accredited since 1997, New Bridge Foundation has been ranked for the third consecutive year -2020, 2021, 2022- as one of “America’s Best Addiction Treatment Centers” in a survey conducted by Statista in cooperation with Newsweek. The America’s Best Addiction Treatment Centers 2022 list highlights the nation’s top facilities based on quality of service, reputation and accreditation relative to in state competition. Reach us at 800 785-2400 for any support.