Suicidal ideation is the experience of having thoughts about ending one’s life. Unfortunately, suicidal ideation tends to accompany other mental illnesses and can be a warning sign that a person may be experiencing an underlying mental health disorder. Suicidal ideation ranges in severity. Some people only have passing thoughts about ending their lives, while others form detailed plans for how and when they will attempt suicide. Regardless of the severity of a person’s thoughts, suicidal ideation is a serious symptom that requires effective treatment.
At Southcoast Behavioral Health, we understand the myriad of mental health disorders that may underlie suicidal ideation and we have developed comprehensive treatment designed to help each of our patients find the help they need to ensure their safety and allow them to live the full, rich lives they deserve.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Having a loved one who is wrestling with suicidal ideation can be a frightening experience, but you are by no means hopeless or helpless. The following are some steps you can take to help keep your loved one safe:
- Research suicidal ideation and talk with a mental health professional about what the underlying causes of your loved one’s suicidal ideation may be.
- Look into treatment options for your loved one, including options for hospitalization should your loved one need extra support to keep himself or herself safe.
- Have an open and honest conversation with our loved one. It is important to not pass judgment or blame, as your loved one is struggling deeply with his or her mental health issues. Instead, reaffirm your love for him or her and work together to develop a safety plan to act upon if your loved one feels unsafe.
- If you feel your loved one is in immediate danger, do not hesitate. Take him or her to a hospital emergency room right away. Once the crisis has passed, you can then discuss long-term care options with your loved one.
- Offer to help your loved on with logistics if he or she should enter treatment. Offer to set up appointments with treatment center staff and make sure to remain active and supportive during his or her time in treatment. Speak with treatment center staff about what you can do to help once your loved one completes treatment.
- Do not forget to take care of yourself as well. Helping a loved one who is struggling with suicidal ideation can be a difficult, so make sure to engage in activities that replenish you. Stay active in your hobbies, get regular exercise, and invest in your social network. Consider joining a support group for people whose loved ones are struggling with mental health issues.
Why Consider Treatment at Southcoast Behavioral Health
If a person is struggling with suicidal ideation, he or is she is likely struggling with a number of painful mental health issues. These difficulties can cause tension in social relationships, strain in romantic relationships, and decreases in work performance. A person may lose his or her job and experience serious financial strain. If a person attempts suicide, he or she may experience a number of severe consequences such as organ damage, cognitive impairment, paralysis, coma, and even death. Though suicidal ideation can be a frightening indicator of underlying mental health difficulties, with proper treatment, it is possible for people with suicidal ideation to find the help they need to heal and live full and happy lives.