There is good evidence that a large percentage of all ED patients will screen positive for depression/suicidality. Screening for suicidality in the ED can be a critical intervention to get patients the help they need before a crisis.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a big risk factor for suicidal ideation, but not all those who die by suicide are “depressed.”
Risk factors for MDD include female gender, young or old age, being divorced or widowed, black or Hispanic ethnicity, having poor social support, and substance abuse.
The strongest predictor for suicide-related outcomes is history of prior suicidal ideation or suicide attempt.