Thursday, 3 March 2022

A brief Description and Interpretation of Beck Suicidal Ideation Scale


Beck Suicide Ideation Scale

Waleed Ahmad

Aaron Beck developed the Beck Suicidal ideation scale in 1979.1 The scale applies to those aged seventeen and above. Five items for screening and the rest for severity are on the scale. The first ten items assess active suicidal desire.


A score of up to six indicates low risk. According to the interpretation, those scoring above six but lower than thirteen are at moderate risk of suicide. Individuals with a severe risk of suicide score between 13 and 20, while those who score higher than twenty-one have a very high risk of suicide.

About the Author

The author is a consultant psychiatrist at the department of psychiatry, Mercy Teaching Hospital Peshawar, and a member of the faculty at the department of psychiatry and behavioural sciences, Peshawar Medical College, Peshawar, 25000, KP, Pakistan. Email: 


Beck, A. T., Kovacs, M., & Weissman, A. (1979). Assessment of Suicidal Intention: The Scale for Suicide Ideation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47(2), 343-352. Retrieved 3 4, 2022, from

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