Information for the public

Assessing your risk of becoming violent or aggressive

Assessing your risk of becoming violent or aggressive

The care team should meet with you and, if you agree, your carer, to find out how likely it is that you will have a violent or aggressive episode (known as a risk assessment). They should take into account any times in the past when you have become violent or aggressive. They shouldn't be biased in any way, and should not let their own feelings or opinions, for example about race or culture, affect your risk assessment. They should be careful not to mistake behaviour that is a normal part of your culture or background, but not familiar to them, as aggression.

If there's a risk that you will become violent or aggressive, the care team should talk with you about when and where this happened in the past and what usually caused it (for example feeling jealous of someone, or disappointed or angry about something). They should also talk with you about how you calmed down and what helped you to calm down (such as talking with someone or taking a medication). They may offer you psychological support to help you learn ways to calm yourself and control your anger.

Your risk assessment should be repeated regularly to keep it up to date. If the care team changes, or you are discharged from care, your risk assessment should be shared with the new care team and your carers.

In addition, if you're under 18 the care team doing your risk assessment should check whether you've had any abuse or trauma. They should also find out whether you haveanother mental health problem such as antisocial behaviour or a conduct disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (often called ADHD for short), or autism. If you do, they should offer care and treatment to you and your parents or carers, in line with NICE's guidelines (see Other NICE guidance for details).

Questions you might like to ask

About risk assessment

  • When and where will the risk assessment be done? How long will it take?

  • Who will do the risk assessment?

  • What kind of psychological support could I have? How will it help me?

  • When will I have my next risk assessment?

For parents or carers of children and young people

  • Will you let me know if my child is violent or aggressive?

  • What methods will you use to help calm my child?

  • What will you do if they cannot calm down?

  • Can you give me help in learning how to soothe and calm my child?

For family members, friends or carers of adults

  • What can I/we do to help and support the person?

  • Is there any additional support that I/we as carer(s) might benefit from or be entitled to?

  • Information Standard