Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire

Screen for suicide risk with Suicide Behaviors Questionnaires. These self-report tools assess key factors. Clinically validated. Quick and reliable assessment.

By Olivia Sayson on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire PDF Example
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What is a Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire?

Suicide is a complex issue rarely attributable to a single circumstance or event. Instead, a wide range of interconnected factors operating at multiple levels—individual, relational, community, and societal—contribute to an increased risk.

These risk factors encompass various situations or problems that can significantly raise the probability of an individual considering or even attempting suicide. Understanding this intricate web of influences is crucial in addressing and preventing such tragic outcomes.

The is a valuable psychological assessment tool specifically developed to identify risk factors associated with suicide among both adolescents and adults. It is a self-report questionnaire that aims to delve into four crucial constructs within suicidal behavior.

Initially developed in 1993, the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire underwent revision in 2004 to create an updated version known as the suicide behaviors questionnaire-revised, or SBQ-R. This revision was prompted by recognizing the need to enhance the questionnaire's ability to assess suicide risk factors effectively.

The primary distinction between the two questionnaires is adding a fifth item in the SBQ-R. This additional item specifically addresses the self-assessed likelihood of future suicidal behavior. Research has demonstrated that this self-assessment is a robust predictor of suicide risk, making it a valuable dimension to incorporate into the revised questionnaire.

By including this item, the SBQ-R aims to capture an individual's own perception of their potential for engaging in future suicidal behaviors, providing a valuable indicator of long-term risk.

If you want to find out more about assessing Suicidal Behaviors, feel free to watch this video:

Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire Template

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Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire Example

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How does it work?

Before delving into the intricate aspects of suicide risk assessment, it's important to grasp the process of the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire (SBQ). Here, we'll guide you through each step in administering this comprehensive tool.

Step 1: Offer a concise introduction

Once you access the Printable Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire, begin by providing a clear introduction to the SBQ. Explain its purpose in assessing suicide risk. Emphasize that it aims to identify various factors associated with suicidal behavior and reassure the individual that their responses are essential for an accurate assessment, with no right or wrong answers—only their honest reflections.

Step 2: Collect the essential information

Gather necessary information about the individual using the patient information section of the questionnaire. This includes personal details such as their name, age, and relevant background information.

Step 3: Encourage honesty

Guide the individual through the four constructs within the suicidal behavior domain, explaining the scoring system for each item (e.g., Likert scales). Encourage them to select the response that best reflects their experiences and feelings.

Step 4: Calculate the scores

Once the questionnaire is completed, calculate the total scores for each item by summing up the ratings. Remember, higher scores indicate a greater presence of the respective risk factors associated with suicidal behavior.

Step 5: Interpret and discuss the results

Finally, interpret and discuss the results with the individual, utilizing available resources and general interpretation guidelines. This will enable a deeper understanding of the identified risk factors and potential areas of concern, facilitating targeted interventions or support.

When would you use this Template?

Suicide Behaviors Questionnaires (SBQs) serve as concise self-report screening tools designed to identify risk factors associated with suicide in both adolescents and adults. These questionnaires are widely utilized in various settings, including clinical and non-clinical environments such as schools, primary care offices, and mental health clinics.

SBQs are employed in different situations, including:

Routine Health Assessment

They are part of routine health assessments to screen individuals who may not currently exhibit suicidal thoughts or behaviors. This aids in identifying individuals who could potentially be at risk for suicide and who may benefit from early intervention.

Mental Health Assessment

SBQs are utilized to assess suicide risk in individuals currently experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors. This information helps in developing a comprehensive treatment plan and monitoring the individual's progress over time, ensuring appropriate interventions are in place.

Crisis Intervention

These questionnaires play a vital role in crisis interventions by assessing suicide risk in individuals facing immediate crises. The gathered information assists in ensuring their safety and connecting them with appropriate resources and support.


Provides a comprehensive understanding of suicide risk factors

The Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire enables practitioners and professionals to gain a comprehensive understanding of the various risk factors associated with suicide. It provides valuable insights into an individual's circumstances, thoughts, and behaviors contributing to their risk level.

Facilitates targeted interventions and support strategies

By identifying specific risk factors through the Free Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire, mental health professionals can develop targeted interventions and support strategies that address the individual's unique needs. This promotes more effective and personalized care.

Supports prevention and safety planning

The SBQ serves as a valuable tool in preventing suicide by identifying individuals at risk and guiding the development of safety plans. It helps professionals collaborate with individuals to create strategies for managing crises and reducing the risk of self-harm.

Contributes to research and knowledge development

The SBQ serves as a standardized instrument for gathering data on suicide risk factors, contributing to advancing research and developing evidence-based practices. It facilitates a better understanding of suicide and informs preventive measures.

Research & Evidence

Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, developed the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire (SBQ) in 1993.

The Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire (SBQ) demonstrates favorable psychometric properties, including reliability and validity, making it a valuable screening tool for assessing suicide risk in both clinical and non-clinical settings.

In 2004, the SBQ underwent revision, leading to the creation of the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R). The SBQ-R incorporates an additional item that specifically addresses the likelihood of future suicidal behavior. This addition was based on research indicating that the probability of future suicidal behavior is a robust predictor of suicide risk.

The SBQ-R has been found to exhibit superior psychometric properties compared to the original SBQ, indicating greater reliability and validity. Consequently, the SBQ-R has become the preferred choice for screening for suicide risk in various settings.

A growing body of research supports the effectiveness of the SBQ-R in screening for suicide risk. For instance, a study published in the journal "Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior" reported that the SBQ-R correctly identified 85% of individuals at high risk for suicide.


Shakeri, J; Farnia, V; Abdoli, N; Akrami, MR; Arman, F; Shakeri, H (May 2015). "The Risk of Repetition of Attempted Suicide Among Iranian Women with Psychiatric Disorders as Quantified by the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire

Shaffer, David; Pfeffer, Cynthia R.; Work Group on Quality Issues (July 2001). "Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with suicidal behavior". Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 40 (7 Suppl): 24S–51S.

Who uses the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire?
Who uses the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire?

Commonly asked questions

Who uses the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire?

The Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire (SBQ) and Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R) are utilized by mental health professionals, primary care providers, school counselors, and crisis intervention workers to screen for suicide risk in patients, students, and individuals in crisis.

When do you use the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire?

The Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire (SBQ) and the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R) are versatile tools that can be employed in primary care, mental health, crisis, and research settings to screen for and assess suicide risk.

How is the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire used?

The Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire (SBQ) and Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R) are self-report screening tools utilized in various settings to assess suicide risk. These brief questionnaires take about 5 minutes to complete and cover important areas such as lifetime ideation/attempts, recent ideation frequency, suicide threats, and self-assessed likelihood of future suicidal behavior.

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