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.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3]

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.

Mental Relapse - McKinney

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:

  1. Self-harm
  2. Changes in appetite
  3. Sleep pattern disruption
  4. Mood swings
  5. Loss of interest in friends or hobbies
  6. Substance and alcohol use
  7. Feelings of hopelessness
  8. Unreasonable levels of guilt or shame
  9. Reduced hygiene
  10. A preoccupation with death
  11. Physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, and chronic fatigue
  12. Acting out or displaying reckless behavior
  13. Threats to run away or actually run away
  14. Reduced levels of concentration
  15. Lack of emotional responses

Verbal hints that indicate a limited timeline, strange thought patterns, or self-harm

What Risk Factors Lead To Teen Suicide?

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.[4] 

  • 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. 

Most parents and peers will tell you that they never suspected the teen victim of suicide was contemplating taking their own life. Now that you can recognize the warning signs, pay attention to their routine and habits and take note of any changes. Keep track of their academic and social activities and monitor social media, chats, and any online activity. Ask them questions about their day, their thoughts, their feelings, and their struggles. Let them know you are a resource, not just a parent.

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.

Physical exercise is a great healer for many mental health struggles, including suicidal ideation. remind them to stay active by doing the sports and workouts they love. If they need an added push, suggest you do it together and hold each other accountable.

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.

Professional Help

The best defense is a good offense. Working with mental health care providers is the best way to help your teen pursue healing.

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. 

Simply recognizing there’s a struggle is not the same as healing from it. it takes time to identify, address, and overcome suicidal ideation and other mental health problems. Give them the space they need to pursue healing while keeping your finger on the pulse of potential suicidal behavior and the warning signs of suicide.

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

Regularly and with compassionate understanding. Mental health and teen suicide should not be taboo subjects but something that is freely discussed in trusted circles or safe spaces. Be a safe space for your teen and continually point them toward practical resources, and make professional help available to them.
Teen suicide can be stopped, and their mental health problems can be overcome. Review the list of warning signs above and pay close attention to your teen’s behaviors and habits. Talk to them about their experiences and be willing to sit with them in silence. Strive to connect with them on activities and hobbies they love. Support them with mental health care and practical resources. Revisit previous conversations and keep the dialog open.
If your teen is experiencing any situation where their thoughts, feelings, and actions could lead them to cause harm to themselves or others would be considered a mental health crisis, and you should immediately contact emergency services as needed.

Effectively Treat Teen Suicidal Ideation With BasePoint Academy

With expert care and a safe environment, we can help your teen and your family address and overcome suicidal ideation. Call today to discover the treatment for long-term healing.


[1]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 on April 19, 2023,

[2]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:// on April 19, 2023, 

[3]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 on  April 19, 2023

[4]Bilsen, J. (2018, October 30). Frontiers in psychiatry. Suicide and youth: Risk factors. Retrieved from on April 19, 2023