Suicidal Ideation and Suicidality

Suicidal ideation and suicidality are complex and serious issues that affect many individuals across the world. It is important to address these issues with empathy, understanding, and evidence-based interventions.

Suicidal ideation refers to thoughts of suicide, which can range from fleeting to persistent and can involve various degrees of intensity. Suicidality, on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses the full range of suicidal behavior, from suicidal ideation to attempts and completed suicides. Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide. WHO estimates that over 700,000 people die by suicide each year.

There are many factors that can contribute to suicidal ideation and suicidality, including but not limited to:

It is crucial for individuals experiencing suicidal ideation or suicidality to seek professional help rapidly in order to address the underlying factors and prevent further harm.

What Causes Suicidal Ideation?

Suicidal ideation can happen when a person starts to feel like they can no longer cope with an overwhelming situation due to a range of situations including:

  • Being laid off or already unemployed
  • Other financial hardships
  • Death of a loved one
  • End of a relationship
  • Debilitating illnesses
  • Health conditions
  • Sexual abuse
  • Grief
  • Rejection
  • Remorse

Risk Factors for Suicidal Ideation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines the following as risk factors for suicidal ideation:

  • A history of mental health issues
  • A family history of violence or suicide
  • A family history of child abuse, neglect, and/or trauma
  • Feelings of hopelessness, seclusion, and loneliness
  • Knowing, identifying, or associating with somebody who has committed suicide
  • Identifying as LBGTQAI+ with no family support
  • Lack of access to mental health care
  • Physical illnesses and conditions
  • Experiencing bullying
  • Experiencing legal problems or significant debt

Mental Health Issues

Researchers have linked several conditions to a higher risk of suicide ideation, including:

The Impact of No Treatment

A lot of people who experience suicidal thoughts tend to suffer in silence. As the thoughts get more intense, they may start making plans to end their life. When these thoughts continue without treatment, some people may put their plans into motion and attempt suicide — a devastating discovery for loved ones. 

Thankfully, there are treatment options available to provide therapy for suicidal thoughts, address the thoughts, and help people struggling with Suicidal Ideation reclaim hope for the future while also developing new skills to manage stress.

Evidence-based Therapies

Evidence-based interventions for suicidal ideation and suicidality include therapy, medication, and support from loved ones. 


One of the most effective forms of therapy for individuals experiencing suicidal ideation is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to suicidal ideation. It can also teach coping skills and problem-solving strategies to manage distressing thoughts and emotions.


Another effective form of therapy for suicidal ideation is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT is a form of CBT that emphasizes mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT is often used to treat individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder, who are at an increased risk for suicidal behavior.


Medication can also be effective in treating suicidal ideation and suicidality, particularly for individuals with depression or other mental illnesses. Antidepressants (usually SSRIs), in particular, have been shown to be effective in reducing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. However, medication should always be used in conjunction with therapy and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Support From Loved Ones

It is important for loved ones to provide support and understanding to individuals experiencing suicidal ideation and suicidality. This can involve being a good listener, validating their feelings, and encouraging them to seek professional help. It is also important to remove any potential means of self-harm, such as weapons or medications, and to contact emergency services if the individual is in immediate danger.

Seek Professional Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideation or suicidality, it is important to seek professional help immediately. In the United States, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for support and resources.

Corner Canyon Welcomes You 

If you or a loved one are looking for a compassionate space to address suicidal ideation, reach out to our Admissions team now at Corner Canyon Health Centers.

We are specifically formulated to offer personalized therapeutic interventions to adult individuals with mental health disorders.

We provide a comprehensive Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that offers clients the opportunity to attend group therapy sessions three to five times a week.

We work with most major insurance policies

We get reimbursement for 85% of our clients *We don’t take Medicaid or Medicare

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Liz Lund, MPA

Liz is originally from lush green Washington State. She is a life enthusiast and a huge fan of people. Liz has always loved learning why people are the way they are. She moved to UT in 2013 and completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2016. After college Liz worked at a residential treatment center and found that she was not only passionate about people, but also administration. Liz is recently finished her MPA in April 2022. Liz loves serving people and is excited and looking forward to learning about; and from our clients here at Corner Canyon.
When Liz is not busy working she love being outdoors, eating ice cream, taking naps, and spending time with her precious baby girl and sweet husband.