Risk assessments

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Key Points

  • This chapter focuses on two areas of risk: suicide and domestic or family violence.
  • Clients of AOD treatment services are at high-risk of suicide, which is further increased by the presence of comorbid mental health disorders.
  • Risk of suicide may increase in response to significant life events, and may fluctuate throughout treatment.
  • It is vital that suicide risk assessments are an ongoing process, with all AOD staff trained to detect the direct and indirect warning signs of suicide, as well as the assessment and management of suicidality. AOD workers should utilise their clinical skill and expertise when incorporating screeners and assessments into their practice.
  • Clients of AOD treatment services are also at increased risk of domestic or family violence.
  • Risk of domestic and family violence should be incorporated into assessment practices, and AOD workers should be familiar with organisational policies and procedures for responding to family violence.
  • Responding to domestic and family violence within AOD services requires a broad, comprehensive, coordinated approach involving multiple services.