Suicidal Ideation: What is it?
Suicidal ideation describes a state in which a person feels hopeless, has thoughts of ending their life, takes steps to limit their belongings or connections, and/or considers what method they might use. Finding mental health support in Los Angeles at the first sign of suicidal ideation is extremely important because a person with suicidal ideation may suddenly attempt suicide impulsively. Interventions by friends, family members, or professionals are often effective in preventing them from taking that step.
Recognizing and Addressing Suicidal Thoughts
When a person begins to have suicidal thoughts, there’s no way to know how imminently they may act on them. Some people with suicidal ideation struggle with these thoughts throughout their lives without ever taking action. However, they are still at higher risk of suicide than those without suicidal ideation. Listening attentively and asking for details about the nature of the person’s thoughts and plans may feel intimidating, but evidence shows that it reduces their risk. Knowing that someone cares about them and wants to help them recover from their symptoms increases their likelihood of seeking help and following through with treatment. Simply feeling less alone lessens the possibility of a suicide attempt.
Signs that someone is considering suicide include:
- Clearly declaring intent: “I’m going to kill myself” or “I’d rather be dead.”
- Preoccupation with death or violence.
- Withdrawing from meaningful social connections and activities.
- Extreme mood swings.
- Obtaining a gun, medication, or other means of death.
- Feeling stuck or hopeless.
- Increasing substance use.
- Eating more or less.
- Sleeping more or less.
- Self-destructive behavior.
- Saying goodbye to people in a seemingly permanent manner.
The Role of Crisis Intervention Centers in LA
Crisis intervention centers in LA exist to provide immediate help to those in need at any time of day or night. You can call or walk into a center to talk to a caring professional, receive a risk assessment, get support with stabilization, and make a plan for discharge or further treatment. You may need to stay overnight until you are alone or safe around others, which may take one night or several. Once you are monitored and stabilized, you can decide whether inpatient or outpatient treatment will best meet your needs. If you have suicidal ideation, ongoing mental health treatment in Los Angeles is necessary to improve your mental well-being and reduce the risk of your symptoms worsening again.
Inpatient Treatment Options in Los Angeles
Inpatient treatment for suicidal ideation provides a secure place for a person to stabilize, learn immediate coping skills, and organize ongoing support for future symptom management. Inpatient mental health facilities in LA offer treatment in various settings centered around various treatment methods. All are focused on promoting safety, instilling hope for the future, and mitigating the kind of risks that people face in their lives outside of treatment. Suppose a person tends to be impulsive, is clearly intent on taking their life, has stopped eating, suffers from sleep deprivation, has previously attempted suicide, and/or cannot keep themselves safe. In that case, staying at an inpatient treatment center is best until those risks are lowered.
Treatment Plans for Suicidal Ideation
A treatment plan for suicidal ideation must be personalized to individual needs since risk factors and effective interventions differ by individual. A case manager or therapist explores your strengths, risk factors, past experiences, medications, current symptoms, future goals, supports, and treatment recommendations to determine the best next steps for your long-term well-being. Treatment plans are dynamic. If your condition or resources change, they are updated to reflect your current needs and goals.
Importance of Emergency Mental Health Services
Emergency mental health services in Los Angeles exist to meet the needs of those experiencing severe symptoms that require immediate attention. In a medical emergency, going to your local emergency room will initiate both medical treatment and a referral to mental health services if appropriate. Calling the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health Help Line is another way to access mental health services referrals, receive a crisis assessment, and initiate emergency care if needed.
Reaching Out: Los Angeles Resources
Calling the LA Department of Mental Health hotline provides a compassionate listener, risk screening, resource assessment, and options for emergency services and appropriate treatment. Calling the National Suicide and Crisis Line at 988 will eventually connect you with resources in your area for assessment, stabilization, diagnosis, and treatment. The sooner suicidal ideation is expressed and addressed, the more likely treatment will be effective and symptoms will be resolved. People who struggle with suicidal ideation are at high risk and deserve to receive support as quickly as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Inpatient Suicidal Ideation Treatment in LA
What exactly is suicidal ideation?
Suicidal ideation includes thoughts of fatally harming oneself, hopelessness that life is worth living, feeling too much of a burden to deserve to be alive, and considering a method to cause one’s death.
How does inpatient treatment for suicidal ideation differ from outpatient care?
Outpatient care typically includes weekly individual therapy, group sessions, medication assessment, and/or skills practice sessions until a person is stabilized. Inpatient treatment offers the added benefit of staying in a safe place away from outside triggers, constant access to supportive professionals, and more intensive and frequent therapy sessions.
Are there specialized centers in LA for suicidal patients?
There are specialized treatment centers in LA for people struggling with suicidal ideation. Contact Alter Health to explore the treatment options that are best for you.
What components make up a treatment plan for suicidal ideation?
A treatment plan for suicidal ideation includes an assessment of a person’s symptoms, needs, resources, goals, history, and future follow-up medical and mental health appointments. An accompanying crisis plan will likely also include specific steps to take should symptoms worsen.
How do crisis intervention centers help during immediate crises?
During immediate crises, a crisis intervention center case manager will offer a listening ear, clarify what symptoms you’re experiencing and how they impact you, explore options for resources and treatment with you, and determine the next best steps to take toward stability. If you need a safe place to stay, you may be able to stay for one night or up to a week as a longer-term plan is created.
Where can I find emergency mental health services in Los Angeles?
You can locate emergency mental health services in LA by calling the mental health crisis line 988 or 911 for an accompanying medical emergency.
Is there a 24-hour hotline in LA for mental health emergencies?
There is a 24-hour hotline in LA for mental health emergencies. Both 988 and 911 will direct you to emergency assistance.