A risk assessment occurs when a student presents with suicidal or homicidal ideations or is referred with concerns for potential risk. This includes verbal and/or written statements made at school, on social media, or in the community.
Risk assessments will be conducted by school based mental health staff. The Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale, also known as the Columbia Protocol, is used to determine the level of risk. The purpose of this assessment is to make recommendations as needed and appropriate for parents, guardians and school staff, and for the safety of all students.
After a risk assessment is completed, the parent or guardian is notified and recommendations are shared with them at that time. The assessment could result in a Baker Act, when deemed necessary by a law enforcement officer or licensed mental health professional.
A Baker Act per Florida Statute 394.455 (18) is:
Impairment of the mental or emotional processes that exercise conscious control of one's actions or of the ability to perceive or understand reality. Impairment substantially interferes with a person's ability to meet the ordinary demands of living.
An Involuntary Examination of a student or person must meet the following criteria:
Involuntary Examination per Florida Statute 394.463(1) is:
Reason to believe person has a mental illness and because of mental illness, person has refused or is unable to determine if examination is necessary, and either
- Without care or treatment, is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse care to self, and such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to ones well-being and it is not apparent that such harm may be avoided through the help of willing family members, friends or the provision of other services: And/Or
- There is substantial likelihood that without treatment the person will cause in the near future serious bodily harm to self or others, as evidenced by recent behavior.