This scale can be helpful for a person who is having suicidal thoughts as a way for them (or family and friends) to judge how dangerous their suicidality is. It can be used in conjunction with therapy. One caveat is that a person can impulsively do something without really meaning it, and if the method is lethal enough, they can kill themselves “accidentally.” All the studies I’ve read say that talking about it does not make the person more likely to do it. Sometimes it’s hard for family and friends to know the difference between supportively talking about suicide, and badgering them too much.
10 I have a highly lethal method in my possession and I am determined to use it immediately to kill myself. Nothing can stop me.
9 I have a lethal method in my possession or within my reach and I have decided when I’m going to do it. Hardly anything or anyone could stop me.
8 I’ve decided to do it and I have a plan that will work. Someone could possibly convince me not to, if they intervened at the right time.
7 I have thought through my plan in specific detail. 1) My method is either highly lethal (gun, jumping, hanging, car wreck) but I haven’t decided for sure yet to do it, or 2) My method is not always lethal (pills, cutting) but I’m pretty certain I’m going to do it.
6 I have pretty much decided on a plan, but I haven’t decided when exactly. I’m more convinced that suicide is the only way out.
5 I’m beginning to think about specific ways to kill myself. Right now my plan is either not very lethal—i.e. pills or cutting rather than a gun—or I’m not very determined to do it right away.
4 I’m further down the path toward suicide. I have researched methods online, but haven’t decided on anything specific yet. I’m still ambivalent.
3 I would really rather be dead. I think about my own death a lot of the time. I maybe will actually do it.
2 I often think vaguely suicidal thoughts like, “I wish I just wouldn’t wake up,” or “it would be such a relief if it were all over with,” but I would never actually kill myself.
1 I sometimes wish I didn’t have to deal with how hard life is.
0 I have no suicidal thoughts or feelings whatsoever.