Suicidal ideation refers to thoughts of ending one’s own life, and is typically a symptom of an underlying mental illness. Because suicidal ideation can be a symptom of depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and other mental illnesses, it should never be taken lightly. Suicidal ideation is a serious concern, and individuals who are experiencing thoughts of suicide should receive prompt professional care as soon as possible.
Fortunately, at Westend Hospital, we understand the pain and disruption that suicidal ideation can cause. With the help of our compassionate and experienced treatment team, it is possible to learn strategies for managing suicidal ideation and build your ability to live a healthier, more fulfilled life.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
It can be frightening to learn that a loved one is thinking about suicide, but fortunately, the fact that you know about his or her suicidal ideation is the first step in helping him or her. With suicidal ideation, it is always best to err on the side of caution, so seek help from a trained professional as soon as possible. Consider also taking the following action:
- Do not assume that your loved one will be fine without help. Consult with a mental health professional as soon as you can.
- It can be helpful to know more about your loved one’s suicidal ideation. When mental health professionals assess for suicide risk, they look at ideation, plan, intent, and In other words, they attempt to answer the following questions: Is a person thinking about suicide? Does a person have a clear plan to commit suicide? Does he or she intend to follow through on that plan? Does the person have the means to carry out his or her plan? It is not your job to know the answer to these questions, but it can be helpful to know what to look for.
- Seek to understand your loved one’s suicidal ideation and how to best respond to suicidal ideation by reading reputable websites and books and consulting with treatment professionals.
- Research options for treatment, find treatment centers that treat suicidal ideation, and make a short list of a few centers that may be a good fit for your loved one.
- Talk openly with your loved one about your observations and concerns. Reiterate your desire to support your loved one, remind him or her that help is available, and encourage him or her to seek treatment.
- When your loved one decides to enter treatment, help him or her by tackling preadmission tasks. These tasks can include anything from setting up appointments with treatment center staff to arranging transportation to simply cooking meals. Be an active part of easing your loved one’s transition into treatment.
- During your loved one’s time in treatment, be an active and present source of support and take advantage of family programming and psychoeducation that your treatment center may offer.
- Above all, take care of yourself. You will be of little help to your loved one if you are too drained to do anything, so pay attention to your eating, sleeping, and exercise habits and make time for hobbies. Call on the support of family and friends and consider joining a support group or beginning individual therapy.
Why Consider Treatment at Westend Hospital
Because suicidal ideation is typically an indicator of underlying mental illness, if it is ignored, one’s underlying mental illness may grow more severe and may have increasingly damaging effects on a person’s life. Suicidal ideation can impair a person’s work performance, causing demotion, job loss, or long-term unemployment, all of which can increase the severity of a person’s suicidal thoughts. In addition, suicidal ideation can interfere with a person’s relationships, leaving him or her isolated and without support. Naturally, the greatest risk of suicidal ideation is death as a result of a person carrying out a suicide attempt, but failed suicide attempts can also result in brain damage, serious injury, or paralysis. Although the consequences of suicidal ideation can be life-threatening, suicidal thoughts are often very treatable, and many people with suicidal ideation are able to heal with prompt, professional care at a dedicated treatment center.
Types of Treatment Offered at Westend Hospital
At Westend Hospital, we are proud to provide life-changing treatment to adults who are struggling with a range of mental health disorders, including but not limited to suicidal ideation, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression.
When a man or women enters Westend Hospital, he or she can expect to receive world-class clinical services, to be provided with an individualized treatment plan that has been designed specifically to meet his or her unique needs, and to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Throughout an individual’s time at Westend Hospital, he or she will work closely with talented and compassionate professionals who will be focused on monitoring his or her progress and offering the personalized care that will alleviate his or her suicidal ideation and improve his or her quality of life.
While an individual is receiving care for suicidal ideation at Westend Hospital, the following elements may be incorporated into her his or her treatment plan:
Medication management: The symptoms of certain mental health disorders respond well to treatment with prescription medications. If a client is experiencing a disorder or disorders that may be treated with such medications, he or she can receive effective and responsive medication management services while being treated at Westend Hospital. Services provided to medication management clients include three weekly meetings with a psychiatrist as well as round-the-clock nursing supervision and care.
Individual therapy: One-on-one sessions between a client and his or her therapist can provide invaluable opportunities for individuals to process successes and setbacks, discuss issues related to the treatment of suicidal ideation, and address matters that the client may be unwilling to bring up during group therapy sessions. At Westend, individual therapy sessions are conducted on an as-needed basis based upon the preferences of each client and the determinations of his or her treatment team.
Group therapy: Group therapy is a foundational element of treatment at Westend Hospital. During group therapy sessions, clients who have been struggling with suicidal ideation have the opportunity to share their thoughts and insights, learn from the experiences of others, and practice healthy interpersonal communication skills, all under the guidance and supervision of experienced professionals. At Westend Hospital, group therapy sessions may be led by a nurse, social worker, or activity therapist. Groups are held on a daily basis. While the specific content of any group will be influenced by the contributions of group members, the following are among the general topics that may be addressed:
- Anger management
- Coping skills
- Grief therapy
- Medication compliance and management
- Relapse prevention
- Stress management
Activity therapy: Clients who are being treated at Westend Hospital also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activity therapy sessions. Activity therapy features several innovative and interactive techniques that can help individuals to manage their symptoms of suicidal ideation. Activity therapy also offers customized instruction in how to make the healthiest and most productive use of a client’s leisure time, and provides clients with new skills that they can develop and enjoy long after they have returned home.
Family therapy: At Westend Hospital, we are keenly aware of the impact that a client’s struggles with suicidal ideation can have on loved ones, and we also understand the essential role that family members can play in a client’s continued progress during and after he or she is in treatment with us. For these reasons, we are proud to provide family therapy sessions on an as-needed basis. Conducted by an experienced social worker, family therapy sessions allow loved ones to address personal concerns, strengthen familial bonds, and learn how best to support the client’s continued healing after he or she has returned home.
The goal of Westend Hospital is to provide clients who have been struggling with suicidal ideation with the assessments, treatment, and continuing support that they need, based upon their unique strengths, needs, and goals. To learn more about our programming, please contact us at your convenience. We look forward to answering all of your questions and helping you determine if Westend Hospital is the perfect place for you or someone you care about.