Suicide Ideation

Residential Treatment for Suicidal Ideation

Treatment of mental illnesses, particularly for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, is very important to protect individuals with suicidal thinking.

Residential treatment often is the best level of care for someone experiencing suicide ideation or who has a history of frequent suicide attempts. Reducing symptoms and learning new coping skills can help end the cycle of repeat hospitalizations and crises.

Residential treatment is not appropriate for someone who needs a locked facility or acute care and observation to keep themselves safe.

How does residential treatment help prevent suicide?

Residential treatment for adults and adolescents brings many of these therapeutic approaches together. Residential treatment can be particularly important for people recovering from an acute episode of depressionmaniaanxiety, or psychosis.

Residential treatment provides a safe and healing community during a critical time when someone is working toward wellness but still needs extra support, especially if they are starting or adjusting medications or just beginning to learn skills to manage pain or discomfort. R

Residential treatment provides 24/7 monitoring and support and a structured daily schedule. At no time of day or night are you without support, and coaching is always available.

Treatment for Suicide Ideation

Several components of the Skyland Trail residential mental health treatment program help address suicide ideation.

Evidence-based treatment with medications has been shown to reduce mood symptoms and psychosis, as well as suicide ideation. A combination of medications and psychotherapy help many people manage symptoms and lead meaningful lives.

Through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), people with mood and anxiety disorders can learn to confront suicidal thoughts directly. They learn skills to recognize negative thought patterns and reframe them at the top of the funnel before they spiral downward into thoughts of suicide. CBT helps people view suicide ideation as “thoughts not facts” and use thought exercises and healthy behaviors to reduce the strength or importance of the thoughts.

Learning and practicing mindfulness and distress tolerance skills can be particularly helpful for people with high impulsivity. Mindfulness and distress tolerance are two components of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which often is appropriate for people with a history of self-harming behaviors or frequent suicide attempts. Distress tolerance gives people strategies to move through an episode of suicidal thinking without acting impulsively or self-harming. DBT is especially helpful for people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) with a history of suicidal behaviors.

Alcohol and substance use are an important risk factor for suicide completion. Skyland Trail adolescent and adult programs help clients understand their relationship to alcohol and substances and how substance use affects their mental health symptoms. 

Our adult programs include a Dual Diagnosis specialized treatment program for clients who meet clinical criteria. Dual diagnosis groups are offered for all adult clients when appropriate.

In our adolescent residential treatment program, clients participate in dual diagnosis groups. These groups helps teens address mild to moderate alcohol or substance use and early experimentation.

Adjunctive therapies, offered as part of a residential treatment program or as wrap-around services in the community, can help people identify and join affinity groups and build a social network. 

Art, music, horticultural, and recreational therapies, along with team sports and social clubs, can help people who tend to isolate or who are uncomfortable in social situations learn social skills and experience the benefits of being part of a community.

They can also help add meaning to life, provide structure for time spent alone, and encourage healthy habits like exercise and active living.

Client Experiences

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255.