Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Suicidal Ideation Signs & Symptoms

Not everyone experiences suicidal ideation the same way. Understanding the signs, symptoms and effects of suicidal ideation is an important step toward recovery for your child.

Understanding Suicidal Ideation

Learn about suicidal ideation

Characterized by the presence of invasive and intrusive thoughts about death, individuals who are suffering from suicidal ideation struggle with preoccupations regarding the ending of their own lives. Predominantly symptomatic of mental illness, the presence of suicidal ideation can be all-consuming and can overwhelm a child or adolescent’s life when appropriate therapeutic interventions are not sought and implemented. Suicidal ideation can range in severity from fleeting considerations to the development of detailed plans as to how one would end his or her life. It is important to note that the existence of suicidal ideation does not necessarily mean that one will follow through on his or her thoughts. That being said, however, the presence of such ideation should always be taken seriously because the line between thought and action can be crossed at any time.

Experiencing chronic thoughts of suicide can be a frightening experience for those children and adolescents who are afflicted by them. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available that can address the underlying reason for why the presence of these disturbing thoughts exist, while simultaneously help youth develop the healthy coping skills needed to overcome their suicidal ideation and rediscover an ability to achieve the happy lives they deserve to be living.

Statistics

Suicidal ideation statistics

Statistics regarding the prevalence of suicidal ideation itself is difficult to obtain due to the fact that it is something that plagues a person’s mind. Instead, research has focused on the prevalence of suicidal behaviors amongst children and adolescents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the fourth leading cause of death amongst youth who are between the ages of 10 and 14. For individuals between the ages of 15 and 24, suicide is estimated at being the third leading cause of death. Sadly, additional studies have shown that, in the United States alone, attempts at suicide are made every 38 seconds and a suicide is completed every 94 seconds.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for suicidal ideation

As was previously mentioned, the presence of ideations of suicide are typically indicative of the presence of a mental health condition. For this reason, when looking into the root causes and risk factors for why some individuals experience the onset of suicidal thoughts, one must also take into account the causes and risk factors that can elicit the manifestation of mental illnesses. Consider the following:

Genetic: Mental illnesses are known to run in families, leading to the conclusion that there is a strong genetic link to their onset. Illnesses such as bipolar disorder and depression are two conditions of which suicidal ideation is most commonly symptomatic and, when a child or adolescent possesses a family history of such mental health conditions, he or she is more susceptible to experiencing the onset of suicidal ideation as a result.

Environmental: There are certain environmental factors that can render children and adolescents more vulnerable to developing suicidal ideation. Perhaps one of the most predominant of such environmental circumstances is the exposure to completed acts of suicide. When youth have friends or family members who have committed suicide, they are at a significantly heightened risk of contemplating such actions themselves. Additionally, young people who are the victims of bullying or various types of abuse and/or neglect are believed to likewise be at an elevated risk for experiencing chronic ideations of suicide as they struggle to find ways to deal with the emotional turmoil that has resulted from such experiences.

Risk Factors:

  • Suffering from a mental health condition
  • Family history of bipolar disorder, depressive disorders, or other mental illnesses
  • Experiencing the death of a loved one
  • Being exposed to the act of suicide (whether it be an act that was done by a peer, a family member, or a celebrity whom the young person respected)
  • Being the victim of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse
  • Chronic exposure to violence
  • Being the victim of bullying
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation

The presence of suicidal ideation can be difficult to determine as it is not uncommon for youth to keep such thoughts a secret from those around them. However, there may exist some warning signs that could possibly indicate the presence of ongoing ideations of suicide, of which may include the following:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Talking and/or writing about death
  • No longer participating in activities that one once enjoyed
  • Isolating oneself / alienating friends and family
  • Engaging in self-harming behaviors
  • Making statements indicative of feelings of hopelessness and/or worthlessness
  • Giving away one’s possessions

Physical symptoms:

  • Changes in physical appearance (e.g. no longer caring how one looks, poor hygiene, etc.)
  • Disturbances in sleeping patterns
  • Disturbances in eating patterns
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Suffering from panic attacks

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Memory disturbances
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Ongoing preoccupation with death and dying
  • Intrusive, unwanted thoughts about how one would end his or her own life

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Loss of interest in things one were once enjoyed
  • Elevated levels of anxiety
  • Extreme episodes of depression
  • Feelings of hopelessness / helplessness / worthlessness
  • Irrational feelings of shame
  • Feeling as though one has no purpose
Effects

Effects of suicidal ideation

The longer that the all-consuming presence of suicidal ideation is allowed to exist, the more severe the thoughts will inevitably become, and the more susceptible children and adolescents are to begin engaging in self-harming behaviors or to make attempts at suicide. When such behaviors occur, the following adverse physical effects may potentially arise:

  • Organ failure
  • Paralysis
  • Irreversible cognitive impairment
  • Permanent scarring
  • Excessive blood loss
  • Anemia
  • Lapsing into a coma
  • Death
Co-Occurring Disorders

Suicidal ideation and co-occurring disorders

The following disorders are those of which suicidal ideation is often symptomatic:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance use disorders

I learned a lot during my stay here which helped me in my longer journey.

– Former client