BASEPOINT ACADEMY: Teen Suicidal Ideation
Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment Therapies Designed To Teen-Centered Treatment For Mental Health Issues
Teen-Centered Treatment For Mental Health Issues
The top three leading causes of death among teens ages 12 to 19 are unintentional injuries (car accidents), homicide, and suicide, according to the CDC. This troubling data give mental health care providers much cause for concern.
And yet, the lack of effective, teen-specific treatment is astounding.
We’re filling the gap at BasePoint Academy.
There is always hope beyond healing. It’s important to acknowledge your teen’s mental health struggles and help them pursue a greater sense of personal well-being. BasePoint Academy was founded after one family’s teen suicide tragedy with a mission to prevent as many future tragedies as possible. We accomplish our mission every day through holistic, teen-focused treatment and non-judgemental, compassionate support.
We’re here to support teens and family members through practical suicide prevention strategies, counseling, therapy, and psychiatry. Reach out to BasePoint Academy today for comprehensive support and a customized treatment plan.
Teen Suicide Statistics
The CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance report shares a number of troubling statistics. Over 15% of teens polled previously had a suicide plan in place, and nearly 9% actually attempted it – 2.5% of them have committed a suicide attempt that required medical treatment, citing black teens as being more likely to take their own life.
For LGBTQ+ teens, the rate of suicide is more than triple that of straight teens, according to a recent study conducted in China. Over 76% of those students also reported bullying and abuse from classmates and teachers.
It’s clear that the numbers reveal the need for treatment and support. But what is the mental health field doing about it?
What Is Suicidal Ideation?
Anyone who suffers from thoughts of suicide is experiencing suicidal ideation. These Suicidal Thoughts may not include a suicide plan or suicide attempts. Simply feeling suicidal is not a diagnosis of any mental health disorder, but it could be a related symptom.
Suicidal ideation is passive in nature, where the teen is merely entertaining the idea of suicide. These thought patterns could be due to feelings of hopelessness, mental health disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, or other traumatic experience.
If there are active preparations for a suicide plan, this would be an active form of suicidal ideation, and immediate help should be sought from a mental health professional, crisis lifeline, or the emergency room.
16 Warning Signs To Identify Suicidal Ideation In Your Teen
In the aftermath of teen suicide, many parents, friends, and peers wonder if there were any signs they missed that could have indicated their loved one was planning to commit suicide. While in some cases, there are few warning signs, if any, here are some common indicators to look out for:
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep pattern disruption
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in friends or hobbies
- Substance and alcohol use
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Unreasonable levels of guilt or shame
- Reduced hygiene
- A preoccupation with death
- Physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, and chronic fatigue
- Acting out or displaying reckless behavior
- Threats to run away or actually run away
- Reduced levels of concentration
- Lack of emotional responses
Verbal hints that indicate a limited timeline, strange thought patterns, or self-harm
What Risk Factors Lead To Teen Suicide?
If your teen has a history or pattern of the following experiences, symptoms, or disorders, they may be at increased risk of suicide.
- Mental illness
- Previous attempts of suicide
- Family history of suicide
- Personality characteristics (impulsive, passive, “black and white thinker”, etc.)
- Low self-esteem
- Poor mood regulation
- Life-altering events (death of a loved one, an illness, etc.)
- Traumatic events or PTSD
- Abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, bullying, etc.)
- Imitation of someone they admire
- Availability of the means to take their own life
If you notice one or more of these warning signs, talk to your teen and get them the help they need as soon as possible.
Helping Teens With Suicidal Thoughts
There are a number of ways that parents, family members, and trusted adults can help teens navigate suicidal thoughts and mental health challenges.
Help At Home
There is no cure for suicide. The best help and treatment measures are preventative ones. Here are a few tips to help parents mitigate the risks of suicide at home.
If and when your team does open up to you, listen with judgment-free compassionate ears. Do not lay blame or increase guilt or shame. Engage with them with empathy and compassion. Be the shoulder that they need to cry on and point them toward other resources and trusted advisors.
It can be easy to assume that everything’s fine and dismiss the warning signs of suicidal ideation as “hormones” or “teen drama.” You must remember that your teen may be going through circumstances, experiences, abuse, or mental health struggles that you know nothing about.
If there are weapons in the home, responsible ownership requires effective safety measures and limited access. Take the necessary precautions to ensure that your firearms, weapons, sharp tools and any other potentially harmful items are properly secured.
If you notice they have pulled back from some activities or if you’re concerned that it’s a possibility, encourage them to reach out to friends and re-engage with favorite hobbies and activities. Create opportunities for them to meet up with friends and focus on fun.
If you yourself struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental health challenges, show them how to achieve balance in life by seeking professional help yourself and practicing practical coping strategies.
At BasePoint Academy, each teen patient undergoes a thorough evaluation and assessment process to determine the appropriate path and level of treatment needed.
Once an individualized treatment plan is developed, they will begin dedicated treatment in individual therapy, group therapy, and psychiatric interventions, along with academic support.
Stay in communication with your teen’s clinicians and providers. Learn all you can about what they’re learning and how you can support new coping skills and treatment techniques at home. Ensure that there is no pressure on them to stop treatment prematurely or to rush through it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teen Suicidal Ideation
Effectively Treat Teen Suicidal Ideation With BasePoint Academy
Miniño, A. M. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, November 6). Mortality Among Teenagers Aged 12-19 Years: United States, 1999-2006. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db37.htm# on April 19, 2023,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, August 20). Suicidal ideation and behaviors among high school students – youth risk behavior survey, United States, 2019. Retrieved from ttps://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/su/su6901a6.htm on April 19, 2023,
Peng, K., Zhu, X., & Gillespie, A. (2019, September 6). JAMA Network Open. Self-reported rates of abuse, neglect, and bullying experienced by transgender and gender-nonbinary adolescents in China. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2749453 on April 19, 2023
Bilsen, J. (2018, October 30). Frontiers in psychiatry. Suicide and youth: Risk factors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6218408/ on April 19, 2023