Suicide Intervention Response Inventory (SIRI)

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.

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


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

Cite this article as: MacDonald, D.K., (2015), "Suicide Intervention Response Inventory (SIRI)," retrieved on December 9, 2022 from

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