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Ask Suicide-Screening Questions

Ask Suicide-Screening Questions

What is ASQ

The Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) tool is a set of four brief suicide screening questions that takes 20 seconds to administer. It is a brief validated tool for use among both youth and adults. It can help providers successfully identify individuals at risk for suicide.

ASQ Printable PDF

You can create a free account on PsyPack to access fillable PDFs, manuals and educational resources for the ASQ

ASQ Scoring and Interpretation

If patient answers “No” to all questions 1 through 4, screening is complete (not necessary to ask question #5). No intervention is necessary (*Note: Clinical judgment can always override a negative screen).

If patient answers “Yes” to any of questions 1 through 4, or refuses to answer, they are considered a positive screen. Ask question #5 to assess acuity: “Yes” to question #5 = acute positive screen (imminent risk identified) “No” to question #5 = non-acute positive screen (potential risk identified)

Clinical judgment can always override a negative screen.

PsyPack can automatically score the ASQ assessment and prepare corresponding tables and graphs.


Suicide Risk

What does ASQ measure

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • screen/assess the risk for suicide.



Type of outcome tool


Assessment modes


Age and eligibility

Youth and Adults

Estimated time

Less than 1 minute


The Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) toolkit is designed to screen medical patients ages 8 years and above for risk of suicide. As there are no tools validated for use in kids under the age of 8 years, if suicide risk is suspected in younger children a full mental health evaluation is recommended instead of screening.

For screening youth, it is recommended that screening be conducted without the parent/guardian present. Refer to the nursing script for guidance on requesting that the parent/guardian leave the room during screening. If the parent/guardian refuses to leave or the child insists that they stay, conduct the screening with the parent/guardian present. For all patients, any other visitors in the room should be asked to leave the room during screening.

Patients who screen positive for suicide risk on the ASQ should receive a brief suicide safety assessment (BSSA) conducted by a trained clinician (e.g., social worker, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, physician, or other mental health clinicians) to determine if a more comprehensive mental health evaluation is needed. The BSSA should be brief and guides what happens next in each setting. Any patient that screens positive, regardless of disposition, should be given the Patient Resource List.

Clinical judgment can always override a negative screen.

Attribution and References

Horowitz, L. M., Bridge, J. A., Teach, S. J., Ballard, E., Klima, J., Rosenstein, D. L., ... & Pao, M. (2012). Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ): a brief instrument for the pediatric emergency department. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 166(12), 1170-1176.