The Suicide Intervention Response Inventory is designed to assess the ability of paraprofessionals (as well as professionals) to recognize and respond to suicidal statements. (Neimeyer R.A. & Maclnnes, 1981)
It is comprised of 25 segments, each of which represents an excerpt from a counselling session, and two potential responses. The test-user must rank the responses to each excerpt from +3 (highly appropriate) to -3 (highly inappropriate.)
The SIRI was created by Robert Neimeyer, and validated by Neimeyer & Hartley in 1986. It is currently used in the LivingWorks suicideCare course, which teaches advanced suicide case management.
Table of Contents
Factorial Structure (Neimeyer & Hartley, 1986):
- Elaboration of the Complaint
- Exploration of Suicidality Involvement
- Reflection of Negative Feelings
SIRI 1 – The original SIRI involved using a scoring chart that indicated which of the responses was the more appropriate of the two. As long as the test-user indicated the correct answer as being more accurate, they scored a point. If they listed them as being the same, count this as an incorrect answer. A higher score indicates better suicide intervention skills.
SIRI 2 – An updated version of the SIRI changes (Neimeyer & Bonnelle, 1997) the scoring from the original. Instead, the answers are compared to a set of “best possible” answers given by a panel of suicidologists, and the difference subtracted from the panel’s answer to each question. With this scoring, a lower score is better because it represents less deviation from the expert opinion.
Tool and Related Links
- Suicide Intervention Response Inventory (page 60, appendix)
- The Practical Art of Suicide Assessment: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals and Substance Abuse Counsellors
Neimeyer, R.A., Maclnnes, W.D. (1981), Assessing paraprofessional competence with the suicide intervention response inventory. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 28(2), pp. 176-179. doi: 10.1037/h0077970
Neimeyer, R. A., & Bonnelle, K. (1997). The suicide intervention response inventory: A revision and validation. Death Studies, 21(1), pp. 59-81. doi: 10.1080/074811897202137
Neimeyer R.A., Hartley R.E. (1986) Factorial structure of the suicide intervention response inventory. Journal of Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. 16(4), pp.434-447; doi: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.1986.tb00729.x