Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are far more common than most people let on – in fact, it’s been estimated that for every completed suicide, there are 11 non-fatal suicidal attempts. People who have depression and other types of mental illnesses often reach a point in which they are so despondent they consider ending their life. People who are experiencing suicidal ideations report feeling hopeless that things will change; that the future is a bleak, dark place. These suicidal thoughts may range from fleeting ideas that quickly pass to detailed plans about the suicide attempt. Some people design their suicide attempts to deliberately succeed while others design theirs to deliberately be found out or fail. If you’re feeling hopeless about the future, that death by suicide is your only way out, call 911 immediately – this is a medical emergency.
At Vantage Point of Northwest Arkansas, we understand that having suicidal thoughts doesn’t make you a weak person; you’re simply in more emotional pain than you can handle. Our serene, welcoming environment is the perfect place for you to confront the emotional pain you feel and begin working toward a future full of hope and happiness.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member Seek Treatment
One of the most tragic aspects of a completed suicide is that it is entirely preventable. If you know the right signs and symptoms of a loved one considering suicide and know how to react, you may just save a life.
Signs a loved one or friend is considering suicide include:
- Talking about suicide: “I wish I were dead”
- Seeking out access to pills, guns, knives, or other lethal means
- Unusual preoccupation with death
- Hopelessness about the future
- Self-loathing, self-hatred
- Getting affairs in order and saying goodbye
- Increased self-destructive behavior
- Sudden sense of calm after extreme bouts of depression
Ways to help a suicidal person:
- Ask outright: “Do you plan to die by suicide?”
- Be sympathetic, non-judgmental, patient, calm, and accepting when your loved one talks about his or her feelings
- Evaluate for immediate danger by asking the following questions. The higher the number that can be answered with a “yes,” the more grave the danger.
- Do you have a plan for suicide?
- Do you have what you need to complete the attempt?
- Do you know when you would do it?
- Do you intend to die by suicide?
- Remove all lethal items from the person’s vicinity
- Do NOT leave the person alone even as you remove the weapons
- Call 911 immediately
Ways not to help a suicidal person:
- Don’t argue with the suicidal person
- Don’t offer trite platitudes
- Don’t offer a lecture on the mortal sin of suicide
- Don’t promise confidentiality or secrecy
- Don’t give advice, offer ways to help, or make them feel they have to justify their feelings to you
- Don’t blame yourself – you can’t fix someone else’s happiness
Why Seek Inpatient Treatment at Vantage Point
If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, you may feel it’s the only way to end the pain you’re facing. You may have pushed away loved ones, withdrawing further and further into your pain – trying to shield them from the burden of your problems. You may have attempted suicide only to have the plan fail. You may feel no one can possibly understand what you’re going through and the pathetic reassurances from your loved ones may just make you angry. It’s time to stop the suicidal thoughts once and for all.
An inpatient center for those struggling with suicidal ideation is the ideal way for you to be protected and safe 24-hours a day, which can help you relax and learn to face some of the challenges in your life. A combination of therapeutic interventions and medication management can help get to the root of what’s causing your suicidal feelings and help you learn to heal. Entering an inpatient program will allow you to escape the stress and pressure of your daily life and focus upon what matters most right now – getting better.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Vantage Point, we’ve helped countless children, teens, adults, and older adults who are struggling with feelings of suicide learn ways to deal with their emotional pain and put it squarely behind them. As we approach each client we meet as a unique person who has lived a unique life, we understand that treatment for suicidal thoughts is never a one-size-fits-most approach. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors always requires thorough care provided by a multidisciplinary treatment team that is designed for each client we treat. At Vantage Point, we’re ready to help guide you on your journey toward recovery and heal the whole you – mind, body, and spirit.
Treatment Options Offered at Vantage Point
When you come to us for treatment for your suicidal thoughts and behaviors, you’ll undergo a variety of evaluations that will help us to determine the best methods to assist in your healing. Our medical examination will help us determine if you’re struggling with any medical complications of previous suicide attempts or physical health problems. The psychiatric evaluation will allow us to determine the severity of your suicidal thoughts as well as the presence of any co-occurring mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder. Your treatment team will take the results of these assessments and work alongside you and your loved ones to create a plan of care for your stay with us.
Medication may be used as a means to control any mental health disorders you may be struggling with such as schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety disorders. The exact types of medications will be based upon the mental health disorder and the findings of the treatment team. If you are placed on medication, you will be consistently monitored for efficacy and dosage will be changed accordingly.
Individual therapy can be incredibly helpful to help you better understand where the suicidal thoughts come from. You’ll work with your therapist to learn more about any co-occurring disorders and ways that these may have impacted your life. You’ll also discuss ways you can combat these challenges and work toward building a healthier life.
Group therapy may be used as a part of your treatment plan as it allows you to work with others who are struggling with similar troubles. In group you’ll address co-occurring disorders, importance of medication compliance, and triggers for suicidal thoughts.
Family therapy will help you and your family reconnect as suicidal thoughts and behaviors may have caused major shifts in the family dynamic. We’ll help your loved ones to better understand suicide, co-occurring disorders, and ways in which they can help you as you recover. In addition, we’ll refer your loved ones to community resources to assist in their continued recovery.
As we aim to treat each person who comes to us in every way we can, we use experiential therapy programs to complement your treatment. These may include:
- Expressive therapy
- School-based programs (for children and adolescents)
Continuing Care and Levels of Care
As your time with us comes to a close, you’ll work closely with your treatment team, the discharge planner, and your loved ones to create an aftercare plan that meets your needs. Some of our clients opt to join a residential program so they are able to spend more time in a similarly secure environment to focus upon their recovery. Others may step down into an intense outpatient program such as a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP) which allows you to focus upon your recovery during the day while spending evenings at home with family and loved ones. Still, others may feel they’ve made enough progress in their care that they’re ready to discharge home with referrals to traditional outpatient therapy and community resources.