The Clermont County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) refused to take things sitting down as they identify the limitations and challenges posed by their existing suicide screening tool. They know that these challenges may put the youth at risk of harm and their facility of liability if not addressed properly.
Joining Justice Clearinghouse to talk about this is Gregory Handleton, the Director of Clinical Services for Clermont County, Ohio’s Juvenile Court. His role puts him in charge of conducting lethality risk assessments for the court while also serving as a mental health consultant for judges, magistrates, detention staff, probation officers, and supervisors.
Specifics tackled in this session are:
- A brief history of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), definition of terms, and clarification of concepts related to it.
- The challenges that the Clermont County JDC encountered brought about by the limitations of their existing MAYSI-2 Screening tool.
- The process of finding the suicide screening tool that best addresses the needs of the facility in terms of conciseness, usability, and triaging.
- Considerations on the length of the time frames used for the screening and triage questions.
- The longer version of the C-SSRS that is available, and why the Clermont County JDC decided on the more concise version.
- The specific qualities, elements, and advantages of the C-SSRS that made the JDC use it as their screening and triage tool.
- Dissecting the screening tool itself.
- The training video and other pointers made available to guide the individual doing the screening correctly.
- The collaboration and safety protocol-level options created to identify the resources to contact and can help manage should there be a mental health crisis in the facility.
- The sections that classify the SPL and transportation options.
- SPL determination if the youth refuses to participate in the screening, the decision flowchart to follow, and the four final physical location/sleeping options available based on triage.
- The C-SSRS questionnaire – guidelines on how to conduct the screening interview, fill out the form and provide the initial SPL based on the answers provided by the youth.
- The section that requires the parent/guardian’s participation to better understand the case.
- Further probing into the case to review past history and the final SPL classification.
- The forms to accomplish depending on the final triage SPL.
- Various resources available to develop a similar system.
Questions raised by the webinar attendees are on:
- Utilizing the screener for non-juvenile populations.
- The reason behind using the concise version of the screener.
- Leveraging face-to-face interviews to provide a more accurate classification.
- Researches on keeping detained suicidal youth safe.
Resources and Handouts
- Additions and Corrections to Resource Materials
- 4-Hour YouTube Suicide Screening Triage System Instruction Video
- Sample: JDC Suicide and Safety Risk Assessment form
- Sample: Instructions for Red, Yellow and Orange Alerts
- Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) Risk Assessment Page
- C-SSRS Step 3 Cheat Sheet
- C-SSRS Screen with Triage Points for Corrections
- JDC Red Form
- JDC Orange Form
- JDC Yellow Form
- The Columbia (C-SSRS) Screener with Triage Points for Corrections
- JDC Collaboration and Safety Protocol Level Options
- How to Administer the C-SSRS Suicide Screener at JDC