English: Risk assessment / Deutsch: Risikobewertung / Español: Evaluación de riesgos / Português: Avaliação de risco / Français: Évaluation des risques / Italiano: Valutazione del rischio

In the psychology context, Risk Assessment refers to the process of identifying, evaluating, and managing potential risks that may threaten the mental health or safety of individuals or groups. It involves analyzing factors that could contribute to negative outcomes, such as self-harm, harm to others, or the development or exacerbation of mental health disorders. Risk assessment is a critical component of clinical psychology, counseling, and psychiatric services, aiming to prevent adverse outcomes and support well-being.

General Description

Risk Assessment in psychology typically involves gathering comprehensive information about an individual's history, current psychological state, environmental factors, and behavior patterns. Mental health professionals use this information to estimate the likelihood of various risks and develop intervention strategies to mitigate them. This process is dynamic and should be revisited regularly to account for any changes in the individual’s circumstances or mental health status.

Application Areas

  • Clinical Settings: Evaluating the risk of suicide, self-harm, or violence towards others among patients receiving mental health treatment.
  • Educational Institutions: Identifying students at risk of developing psychological issues or engaging in risky behaviors, and implementing preventive measures.
  • Workplace: Assessing potential psychological hazards that could affect employees' mental health and productivity, and creating a safer work environment.

Risks and Challenges

Conducting a Risk Assessment requires sensitivity, confidentiality, and professional expertise. Incorrect or incomplete assessments can lead to inadequate care or inappropriate interventions. Additionally, there is the challenge of balancing respect for an individual’s autonomy with the need to intervene for their safety or the safety of others.



Risk Assessment in psychology is a proactive approach to identifying and managing potential threats to mental health and safety. By evaluating the likelihood and potential impact of various risks, mental health professionals can implement targeted interventions to mitigate these risks and support individuals in maintaining or improving their mental health and safety.


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