Suicidal ideation is a term used to describe thoughts about, or a preoccupation with, suicide. The spectrum of suicidal ideation ranges from transitory thoughts to a detailed plan. If you’re feeling suicidal, you’re not alone – many of us have had suicidal thoughts at some point during our lives. If you’re considering dying by suicide, this is a medical emergency – call 911 immediately. Feeling suicidal isn’t a character defect and it doesn’t make you weak – it simply means that you’re overwhelmed by stress and emotion in your life and you’re looking for a way to cope. You may feel the future is a big black question mark of uncertainty. However, with time, support, and love, you can overcome the problems that are making you feel suicidal and learn to live life to its fullest.
Highland Ridge Hospital has helped countless teens, adults, and older adults who have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. Our compassionate team of mental health professionals understands the pain you’re in and the bravery it takes to make the first step into treatment. You’re not alone. Highland Ridge Hospital is here to help.
How to Help A Loved One Seek Treatment for Suicidal Ideation
If your loved one has attempted suicide or has told you that he or she is feeling suicidal, you’re probably full of a multitude of emotions – anger, shock, fear, sadness, and guilt. It can be impossible to know what to say or how to say it; no one wants to make the situation worse. However, if you don’t speak up, you may never have the chance. Here are some ways of helping a loved one who has suicidal ideation.
Say something: If you’re worried that your loved one is thinking about suicide, say something like, “I’ve been concerned about you.” This can allow your loved one the chance to talk openly about what he or she has been feeling.
Crisis Management: If your loved one tells you that he or she has been thinking about dying by suicide, it’s time to act. The most dangerous suicidal behaviors include a specific plan, means to carry out the act, the time chosen to carry out the act, and the intention to do it. Assess your loved one’s suicidal thoughts and intentions:
- Plan: “Do you have a suicide plan?”
- Means: “Do you have what you need to carry out your plan?”
- Time Set: “Do you know when you’d do it?”
- Intention: “Do you intend to die by suicide?”
If you feel that your loved one is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 911 immediately and remove any lethal objects from your loved one’s vicinity. Never, EVER leave a suicidal person alone.
Offer Help: If your loved one is feeling suicidal, do not hesitate to be there for them in any capacity possible. Reassure your loved one that you will be beside them throughout treatment and afterward.
Why Seek Inpatient Treatment for Suicidal Ideation?
If you’re feeling suicidal, you may realize that you’re down in a hole so deep you can’t see the light. You may feel trapped, terrified of what tomorrow will bring, and don’t know how to help yourself. You may find that any thought about the future is met with sadness and apathy – you don’t see that anything is going to get better. Ever. You may feel isolated and alone, afraid that you’re “crazy,” so you don’t speak out because you’re afraid others will think you’re weak. You know you need help and support but you don’t know how to get it.
An inpatient treatment center for suicidal ideation is one of the most effective ways to help someone who is suicidal get stable. Inpatient care allows you to escape the problems and worries of your daily life and focus on the one thing that matters most – recovery. Additionally, an inpatient center will allow you to get better while keeping you safe and free from harm. In an inpatient treatment program, you’ll connect with others who are struggling with similar feelings so that you can all grow, learn, and heal.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
Highland Ridge Hospital sees every child, teen, adult, and older adult who comes to us for help as a unique individual who requires compassionate, individualized care based upon all the needs of a person – mind, body, and spirit. We aim to be a safe haven of treatment and recovery for people who struggle with mental health disorders and suicidal ideation. Our staff is well versed in our core values: care, compassion, concern, and competence, and you’ll see our dedication in every interaction we have with you.
Treatment Approaches for Suicidal Ideation at Highland Ridge Hospital
When you first come to us for help, we will perform a series of comprehensive evaluations to determine what your needs from us will be. Our medical evaluation will allow us to gain greater insight into any medical problems you may be struggling with and determine if you are self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. The psychological evaluation will determine the severity of your suicidal thoughts and discover the presence of any undiagnosed co-occurring mental disorders. We will then sit down with you and put together a plan of care for your stay with us.
Medication may be used at the beginning of your stay to gain control over any unpleasant symptoms you may be experiencing. Many people are able to slowly taper down their medication as they learn more effective coping mechanisms and mindfulness. Some people may be on long term medication management to address any mental health concerns.
Individual therapy is a wonderful way that we are able to help you challenge the negative thoughts you have about yourself and the world. You will spend private time with a therapist, away from the rest of the residents and work to discover the reasons behind your suicidal ideations.
Group therapy is a great way for people who have suicidal thoughts to work with others with similar struggles so that you all can learn, grow, and heal from one another. We offer a variety of group therapy types, including process groups to allow you the time to work through your emotions and psychoeducational groups to educate you about various topics. Topics for group will vary each session and may include anger management, stress reduction, and coping skills.
Family therapy is very important for people who have been struggling with suicidal thoughts. During family sessions, we allow your loved ones to express their emotions in a safe, supportive environment. We’ll also teach your family ways to help you in your recovery as you heal from suicidal ideation.
In addition to traditional therapeutic techniques, we also offer a wide array of experiential treatments to compliment your therapy. These may include:
- Art therapy
- Pet therapy
- Recreation therapy
- Leisure time
- Craft time
- Movie nights
- Wii games
- Gym & exercise time
- Puzzles, cards, and board games
Continuing Care and Levels of Care
At Highland Ridge Hospital, we will always place you in the most appropriate, least restrictive level of care. We offer a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for people who want to focus upon their recovery while still returning home in the evenings. Our PHP and IOP can be used as a step up from traditional outpatient therapy or as a step down from our inpatient program. We also offer an inpatient program for children, teens, adults, and older adults who require the structure of an inpatient healing center.
As your time with us draws to a close, you will work with your discharge planner to make sure you have a plan in place for your continued recovery. Some of our patients decide that they still need the structure of an inpatient program and may opt to join a residential treatment center. Others may feel they’ve made enough progress in our program to step down into our outpatient treatment options; our PHP or IOP are excellent options. Still others may find they’ve made enough progress in our program that they’re able to discharge to home with referrals to traditional outpatient therapy.
Getting Help For a Suicidal Ideations From Us
Our treatment center is in Salt Lake City and serves residents from all over Central and Northern Utah. Call one of our admissions counselors today for a free, confidential screening to see how Highland Ridge can help you regain a happy, healthy life.