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When Suicide Treatment Facilities Can Help

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It’s critical to connect someone with thoughts of suicide to the help and support they need. Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. During mental health crises like suicidal thoughts and self-harm, support ensures those in need to receive help and treatment. Assisting those in pain is crucial, and suicide treatment facilities can keep people with suicidal ideation safe while helping them heal.

What are Suicide Treatment Facilities?

Suicide treatment facilities provide support, counseling, guidance, and safety for people with suicidal ideation or self-harming behaviors. These centers deliver treatment through various programs, addressing the underlying causes of the behavior through different mental health treatment types, depending on the needs of each person.

Residential programs offer integrative healing that targets the whole person and furnishes support and connection throughout treatment. Outpatient programs vary, with some recovery-intensive programs providing transitional housing and treatment as those in the program continue with real-world activities.

When to Seek Treatment

Treatment is likely necessary when mental health symptoms increase, safety is a concern, or suicidal thoughts are present. Experiencing multiple mental health symptoms and feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope during daily life tasks may also be signs that support is necessary. 

Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone at any age or time. These thoughts shouldn’t be considered something typical or something that will disappear on its own. Suicidal thoughts often stem from untreated mental health conditions, and seeking help for yourself or someone you love is critical.

“Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should seek mental health care and support from a qualified therapist immediately,” said Dr. Julie Eberwein, PhD, LPC-MH, LMHC, CAP, CCFC, Executive Director at Integrative Life Center. “If a person is in danger of harming themselves, they should immediately seek treatment through mobile crisis services or their local emergency room.”

Signs Someone Needs Help

Knowing that someone close to you is in pain isn’t always easy. It can be difficult to determine if someone is having suicidal thoughts, especially if they work to hide their emotions. But sometimes, people display warning signs of contemplating suicide.

“Many people who are considering harming themselves will cry out for help, but you can’t help them if you don’t know the signs to look for,” said Sheena Miller, LPC-MHSP, Clinical Manager at Integrative Life Center. “Some people don’t exhibit signs of suicidal ideation. The best you can do is understand the signs and make it clear to your loved ones that you’re there for them anytime they need help.”

Signs of suicidal ideation include:

  • Saying they feel hopeless, trapped, alone, they have no reasons to go on living, or the world would be better without them
  • Heavy substance or alcohol use
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Problems sleeping too much or too little
  • Extreme agitation or anxiety
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Making a will or giving away possessions
  • Aggressive, impulsive, or risky behavior
  • Inflicting self-harm
  • Talking about suicide as a way out
  • Securing a means to end life


Talking to someone close to you who you think is having suicidal thoughts is difficult. Communicating openly and asking direct questions is challenging, but don’t be afraid to ask if they’re considering suicide. Acknowledge their feelings, remain calm, offer support, and tell them help is available. 

Initiating the conversation isn’t easy, but listening and encouraging them to seek help and even offering to assist them in finding help may save their life. Suicide prevention resources are available to help them.

Why Suicide Treatment Facilities are Beneficial

An environment that provides care, safety, and connection is essential to recovery for those with suicidal ideation. A treatment center can offer a safe place with mental health professionals who create individualized plans to help each person heal. A suicide treatment facility can also encourage connection with others in the same program to help the person understand they aren’t alone. 

“People who are harming themselves or considering suicide are in severe distress,” Dr. Eberwein said. “Mental health professionals at a treatment center know how to provide the help they need to stop harmful behavior and heal emotionally. A more positive outlook on life is the overwhelming benefit.”

What to Expect from a Suicide Treatment Program

Suicide treatment facilities use various approaches that are specific to the individual’s needs. Some suicide treatment programs use a multidisciplinary approach to healing, incorporating evidence-based and experiential therapies and other treatments to help heal the whole person. A person attending a suicide treatment program can expect to participate in various types of therapy.

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy is a common form of therapy that pairs a mental health professional with a client to work through feelings and process emotions. Talk therapy helps the individual understand their emotions by discussing them with an unbiased, uninvolved professional. The mental health professional helps the person explore where their emotions may originate, why they likely continue, and how to respond to or process them.

Trauma-Focused Therapy

Trauma-focused therapy helps a person understand how trauma affects their brain. It uses real-life experiences and exposure to process, treat, and help people understand traumatic experiences. Once a person better understands how their body and mind naturally respond to trauma, they’re more well-equipped to process and cope with it. Trauma-focused therapy also helps a person learn how to cope with triggers. 

Adventure and Experiential Therapies

Adventure or experiential therapies are hands-on treatments that encourage physical interaction by engaging in activities. These approaches include art, drama, music, play, and animal-assisted therapies. Treatment centers may use adventure and experiential therapies alone or with other methods to best serve the person.

Group Therapy

Group therapy allows people with similar mental health concerns to share with each other, learning from and supporting one another. Group therapies help people feel less alone in their mental health concerns. They help create support networks and accountability.

How ILC Can Help

Negative thoughts are common, but when they turn to self-harm or suicidal thoughts, outside help and support are necessary.

Treatment at a suicide treatment facility should be trauma-focused, centered on the whole person, professional, and caring. Integrative Life Center provides all of these things through our suicide treatment program. Contact us to learn more.

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