Premiere Suicidal Ideation Treatment Center in Columbia, Missouri

Suicidal ideation is the clinical term for thoughts of suicide. People of all ages, genders, and backgrounds may struggle with these thoughts. In some cases, suicidal ideation is a symptom of a mental health disorder. In other cases, it is the result of stress, trauma, or other factors. 

Regardless of why a person develops suicidal ideation, it is a serious and potentially life-threatening concern that merits professional intervention. When a person gets effective treatment for suicidal ideation, they can achieve improved health, overcome the urge to end their life, and pursue a much more hopeful future. 

Important note: If you or someone you know is at imminent risk for suicide, please get immediate help. If you are in the United States, you can access the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or summon a local first responder by dialing 911.  

Signs & Symptoms of Suicidal Ideation

Some people who are struggling with suicidal ideation exhibit many signs. Others give little to no indication of what they have been thinking about. This can make it difficult to detect if someone has been thinking about ending their own life. But certain actions and behaviors can suggest that a person is in crisis. 

Depending on several factors, the following can be symptoms of suicidal ideation: 

  • Withdrawing from family and friends 
  • Ending their participation in sports, hobbies, or other activities that used to be very important to them 
  • Sudden decline in performance at work or in school 
  • Abandoning their plans for the future 
  • Frequently discussing death and dying 
  • Talking about how they are a burden to others 
  • Commenting that they wish that they had never been born, or that they could go to sleep and not wake up  
  • Acting with uncharacteristic anger or irritability 
  • Exhibiting dramatic changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and appearance 
  • Giving away significant possessions  
  • Suddenly appearing serene and happy after an extended period of sadness or depression 

Some experts categorize suicidal ideation as either passive or active: 

  • Passive suicidal ideation includes general thoughts of suicide, but without a specific plan. People who have passive suicidal ideation may wish that they could simply disappear, but they have not taken any tangible steps toward ending their lives. 
  • Active suicidal ideation refers to people who have decided how they may end their lives. In addition to developing a plan, they may have also written a note or acquired items that they intend to use as part of their plan.  

It is important to understand that there is no such thing as safe or harmless suicidal ideation. While people who currently have active suicidal ideation may be in more imminent danger, this does not mean that those who have passive suicidal ideation are not at risk. Anyone who has had any thoughts of dying by suicide should get immediate help. 

If you suspect that someone you care about has developed suicidal ideation, do not ignore your concerns. Talking to someone about suicide — which can include asking them if they have been thinking about ending their own life — will not put ideas into a person’s head or increase their risk.  

Suicidal Ideation Statistics

Because the term suicidal ideation refers to thoughts, not actions, it is not possible to know for sure how many people have considered ending their own lives. But some researchers have been able to make data-informed estimates of the scope of this problem. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the following statistics about suicidal ideation among adults in the United States in 2020: 

  • Each year, about 12.2 million adults age 18 and older have serious thoughts about ending their lives. This represents about 5.8% of the adult population in the U.S. 
  • In the past year, 3.2 million adults age 18 and older, or about 1.5% of the population in this demographic group, made a suicide plan.  

In August 2020, the CDC released statistics about suicidal ideation among adolescents. These statistics were based on information collected during the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey: 

  • 18.8% of high school students in the U.S. said that they have seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months. 
  • The rate of past-year suicidal ideation was 24.1% among female students and 13.3% among male students.
  • Among heterosexual students, the past-year rate of suicidal ideation was 14.5%. Among students who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, the rate was 46.8%. Among students who said that they were unsure of their sexual identity, the rate was 30.4%.
  • 15.7% of students said that they had formed a suicide plan in the previous 12 months. 

Suicidal Ideation Causes & Risk Factors

A person’s risk for suicidal ideation may be increased by factors such as the following: 

  • Having certain mental health disorders
  • Being abused, neglected, or bullied as a child
  • Family history of suicide
  • Exposure to overwhelming stress or pressure
  • Developing a serious illness or chronic pain
  • Being femal
  • Being a member of a marginalized or oppressed community
  • Negative experiences such as financial problems, job loss, or the end of a relationship
  • Being in a violent or otherwise abusive relationship
  • Insufficient access to mental healthcare services and support 

Potential Effects of Untreated Suicidal Ideation

Recurring thoughts of suicide can have a profound negative impact on a person’s life. The following are examples of the potential effects of untreated suicidal ideation:  

  • Disrupted relationships with family members, friends, and peers 
  • Development or worsening of mental health disorders 
  • Physical injuries due to risky or reckless behaviors 
  • Medical problems due to poor self-care
  • Substance abuse and addiction 
  • Suicidal behaviors
  • Death 

Levels of Care for Suicidal Ideation Treatment

At CenterPointe Hospital of Columbia, people who have been struggling with suicidal ideation may receive treatment at one or more of the following levels: 

  • Inpatient treatment – We provide age-appropriate inpatient treatment for children, adolescents, adults, and senior adults who have developed suicidal ideation. At the inpatient level, patients take part in full days of structured services. The general goal of treatment at this level is to help patients achieve stabilization so that they can return home or transition to a lower level of care. Typical length of stay is 10-14 days for senior adults and seven to 10 days for all other age groups. 
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP) – At the IOP level, adults and adolescents attend treatment for suicidal ideation three days per week. Each treatment day includes three hours of care. Patients may step down to our IOP after completing inpatient treatment for suicidal ideation, or they may enter treatment directly at this level. Typical length of stay is four to six weeks. 
  • Traditional outpatient treatment – Patients who receive traditional outpatient treatment for suicidal ideation take part in individual sessions with either a psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse practitioner. As with our IOP, people may enter treatment with us at this level, or they can begin to receive traditional outpatient services after completing a higher level of care. 

Types of Treatment for Suicidal Ideation

The elements of care we incorporate into a patient’s treatment for suicidal ideation can vary depending on several factors. These factors can include the patient’s age, the level of care they are in, and if they have a mental health disorder or substance use disorder. 

With those caveats in mind, the following are examples of the types of treatment we offer for people whose lives have been disrupted by suicidal ideation: 

  • Basic medical care 
  • Medication management services 
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) 
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) 
  • Motivational interviewing 
  • Detoxification 
  • 12-Step education and support 
  • Individual therapy 
  • Family therapy 
  • Process groups 
  • Psychoeducational groups 
  • Art therapy 
  • Music therapy 
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)  

We also offer a detailed discharge planning service that begins the day a patient enters treatment with us. This service ensures that our patients are connected with the resources that can support their continued progress after they transition out of our care.  

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How to Find the Right Suicidal Ideation Treatment Center

Treatment for suicidal ideation can include a wide array of therapies and support services. It can also occur at multiple levels. Given the breadth of options that are available, it can be difficult to determine which suicidal ideation treatment center can best meet your specific needs. 

Getting the answers to questions such as the following can help you find the suicidal ideation treatment center that’s right for you: 

  • Does the suicidal ideation treatment center offer multiple levels of care? 
  • Does the center develop personalized suicidal ideation treatment plans for each patient? 
  • What types of therapies does the center offer? 
  • Who provides treatment for suicidal ideation at the center? What are their qualifications and experience levels? 
  • How will these professionals decide which levels of care and which types of therapies are right for you?
  • Does the suicidal ideation treatment center offer services for people who have mental health disorders and co-occurring substance use concerns?
  • How will the center’s treatment team determine how long you need to remain in their care?
  • What types of discharge planning or other aftercare support services does the center provide?
  • Will the center accept your insurance? 

When you contact CenterPointe Hospital of Columbia, the staff member who takes your call will be happy to answer these and any other questions you have. From your first call throughout your entire experience with us, we want you to have the information you need so that you can make the best decisions about your treatment and actively engage in all aspects of your care. 

This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at CenterPointe Hospital of Columbia. 

The staff at CenterPointe treated me as a unique individual and I have not felt that cared about in a long time. I feel positive about my life for the first time in a long time.

– Alumni
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