Suicide Prevention Tips from Healing Minds Therapy

Suicide is a topic that is often avoided but is a serious and devastating occurrence that happens all too often. Almost 45,000 Americans each year die by suicide. Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States but is the 8th leading cause of death for Nevadans. And these numbers could be even higher as many go unreported due to mental health stigma preventing many people from reaching out and asking for help.

The number of deaths from suicide don’t tell the whole story of the larger issue. Over 1.20M attempts at suicide are made every year.

If you need help today, don’t wait. Reach out to Healing Minds to be connected with any one of our amazing therapists specializing in suicide. Otherwise, keep reading for more information on treatment options, warning signs, and ways to talked to loved ones who might be suicidal. 

Who Is Most Likely to be At Risk of Committing Suicide?

Individuals with psychiatric disorders, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse are at higher risk of suicide.

So, too, are those with anxiety disorders, especially severe anxiety.

Veterans and military personnel, members of the LGBTQ community, and men ages 44-64 and 85 and older are also more impacted by suicide. 

Therapies That Can be Used to Treat Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal therapy focuses on providing the individual experiencing suicidal thoughts with suicide-specific coping techniques and skills. Suicide therapy can then help individuals recognize when, where, how, and why they start thinking about suicide.The goal is to prevent suicidal behaviors and to motivate the individual so that they’re better equipped to deal with their suicidal impulses and reduce the risk of suicide.

Research into suicide-specific treatments to help reduce suicidal thoughts reveals some effective therapies that have been both studied in controlled clinical trials and used in psychiatric and mental healthcare settings.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Suicide Prevention

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for suicide prevention has shown impressive results in reducing suicidal thoughts and repeat suicide attempts, reducing depressive symptoms, and increasing hope. A primary treatment focus is reducing suicide risk factors and increasing coping skills. Central to the therapy is the tenet that the individual will continue to have stressors and problems, but armed with effective coping skills, they’ll no longer be triggered to suicidal behavior.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) for Suicide Prevention

For someone experiencing chronic suicidal thoughts, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an effective therapy to reduce suicidal attempts and ideation. Individuals suffering from a borderline personality disorder, for example, not only need therapy for suicidal ideation that can help ensure their safety, but they also need to learn new skills and access resources that can lessen the fixation with suicide. While someone can’t control what they think, they can learn how to better respond to the thoughts that come to them. That’s where DBT can help. Rather than fixate on suicidal thoughts, with CBT therapy the person can master detachment to help them look at the thoughts from afar with a kind of curiosity.

Look for a trained mental health professional who specializes in treatment for suicide. Your mental healthcare provider will evaluate your circumstances and specific behaviors to determine the overall approach to treatment.

What are some warning signs of suicide?

Common warning signs that someone may be thinking about suicide include:

  • Feeling empty, hopeless, trapped, extremely sad, increasingly anxious, or full of rage
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Prior suicide attempts
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • High-risk behaviors
  • Making statements with themes of hopelessness, helplessness, and fear of becoming a burden
  • Withdrawing from friends, saying goodbye, giving away important items, or making a will
  • Taking dangerous risks such as driving extremely fast
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Eating or sleeping more or less
  • Using drugs or alcohol more often
  • Any other significant changes


Trust your gut. If you’re concerned that something feels different or wrong, it probably is. Check in with your loved ones. 

Use The Do's and Dont’s of Talking to a Loved One About Suicide

Talking with and finding help for someone that may be suicidal can be difficult. Here are some tips that may help.

  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, like weapons or pills.
  • Get help from people or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Having Suicidal Thoughts?

Therapy from a professional therapist can make a profound difference in relieving suicidal thoughts. Being aware of the warning signs could reduce both suicide attempts and deaths. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, don’t feel like you need to tackle this on your own. Please seek immediate help by calling 911, a local emergency phone number or crisis hotline, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255).

If the situation isn’t imminent, your doctor can provide a referral to professional suicidal therapy or counseling for suicidal thoughts. Don’t be afraid to ask for support from loved ones and close friends before, during, and after receiving suicidal therapy. Telling a therapist about suicidal thoughts may not be easy, but it is a vital first step in healing.

Schedule an Appointment

At Healing Minds, we have therapists that can help you deal with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts. Our Suicidal Prevention services can make the difference you need to step towards a full, whole life once again. Your life is special, it is worth living, and we are here to help you remember this; to listen and give you the tools to rewrite your story. Suicide is preventable. Please reach out to schedule a therapy appointment with a trained practitioner.  We offer in person or Telehealth therapy from the comfort of your own home.