The degree of risk, individual needs, and preferences all play a significant role in the efficacy of suicidal person treatment and care. Nearly 90% of persons who commit suicide do so while suffering from a mental illness. Because of this, experts generally concur that measuring suicide risk and treating underlying mental problems are both essential components in avoiding suicide deaths.

Types of Treatment

Learn more about several choices for receiving medical care for various suicide risk factors by using the tabs below.

In any emergency, it is crucial to seek medical attention. Call 911 if you’ve tried suicide and are harmed (USA only). Depending on your mental health condition, emergency rooms may treat any injuries you may have, ask you a number of questions, give you medicine, and ask you to stay in the hospital for additional testing, observation, and to arrange follow-up care.

Alternatives to Calling 911 in an Emergency

If you experience any of the suicide warning signs or you know someone who does:

  • Dial 911 or the emergency number in your country.
  • Dial 988 if in the United States or call your local crisis hotline agency.
  • Check into the hospital emergency room or urgent care.
  • Check in to your local psychiatric clinic.
  • Tell someone who can help you find help immediately.
  • Stay away from things that might hurt you.

The majority of patients can be helped by taking antidepressants along with psychotherapy. As soon as warning signals appear, it’s critical to get treatment.

The only person who has access to a suicidal person or someone suffering from an unidentified mental illness may be a family or primary care physician. It is well documented that about 75% of those who committed suicide had visited their primary care physician in the months before they passed away. It’s crucial that primary care physicians receive training to evaluate their patients’ mental health.

Getting Hospitalized: What You Should Know

It is essential to understand that hospitalization alone neither prevents suicide nor reduces the risk of suicide for those who are suffering from a significant mental disease. It takes time for counseling and medication to start working and for recovery to start. The treatment approach should include the participation and support of family members and friends. When a loved one is receiving treatment for depression or another mental illness, the following guidelines offer a framework for cooperating with a facility.


Is staff available to answer questions? What is the policy about involving family members in the patient’s care?

Without a specific time or day set forth to meet with a manager, nurse, or doctor, printed materials that promise classes, sessions, etc. are of limited or no use. The person who will be available to answer your concerns during the course of therapy should be identified, if at all possible, by setting up an appointment and obtaining their name and phone number. Typically, this will be a social worker. Ask the doctor or your contact about the patient’s care and treatment plan, any additional questions you may have, and what needs to change in the patient’s attitude, behavior, and physical attributes before the patient is discharged.

Throughout Treatment

What, if any, is your part in this process, and how may you help the patient?

It is crucial that you speak with the doctor or the treatment group whenever you have concerns or disagree with any decisions. You are more familiar with the patient than the doctor or other staff members and could provide useful insight. Patients who are ill might not notice behavioral changes, and the doctor and staff might not notice alterations either, especially if they are unfamiliar with the patient. The best person to observe and voice any issues you have is you. Ask detailed questions about the patient’s treatment plan, such as whether the patient attends group or individual therapy sessions or both; whether they interact with other patients, students, interns, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, doctors, etc. This could impact the standard and cost of the patient’s care.


Some rehab centers hold a release or discharge conference with the patient, staff, and important family members; other centers do not.

To ascertain whether the patient is prepared to depart and whether they are well enough to handle their own care or are able to seek care from another source, you might ask for a discharge meeting. A therapy program that is ongoing is essential. Ask the doctor to assess any changes in the patient during that time if there is a discrepancy between the anticipated and actual discharge. Ask the patient and the team if any written goals have been set. You can assist the patient in setting some beneficial short-term objectives for resolving particular issues. It will be clear that you care if you show curiosity. Before leaving the rehabilitation center, the patient should have written down their exact goals. Locate and assess outside resources, including clergy, family members, and friends, who can aid in the healing process. To achieve a successful recovery, ongoing monitoring, assistance, and follow-up are essential.


Medications for mental illness such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiety relievers, and others might help people feel less suicidal by easing their symptoms.

At this time, the FDA has only approved clozapine as a treatment for lowering suicide risk.

Psychotherapy: One often recommended and successful treatment for people with depression is psychotherapy. Most professionals that use various types of psychotherapy have obtained official training in order to carry out the therapy they are providing to the patient. Typically, a couple of times per week for a considerable amount of time, psychotherapy is an intense form of interactive talk therapy between the patient and therapist (12-16 weeks). Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are two popular forms of psychotherapy (DBT).

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: By analyzing the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance addiction disorders, and others. To achieve this, a patient is engaged in conversation in order to identify problematic thought patterns and create new thought patterns that will better benefit the patient.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is mainly based on the same concepts as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but it employs acceptance and understanding of persistently negative beliefs and behaviors as a basis to create balance and make positive change appear plausible. DBT is more frequently utilized in patients who have persistent suicide thoughts, and it typically produces greater results since fewer harmful behaviors are continued following therapy.

For more information and a comprehensive overview of the different types of psychotherapy, click here

Follow Up Care and Continuity of Care

In order to ensure a seamless transfer of services and patient data with the least amount of disruption for the patient, continuity of care refers to the relationship between many health care providers. This is essential for developing a setting and healthcare strategy that will keep a suicidal patient safe.

A manual for follow-up care was produced by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center in collaboration with the University of Michigan. This thorough book lays out recommendations for patient care after a suicide attempt.


Find A Mental Health Professional

Locate a mental health expert nearby to begin your path to wellness.

Suicide And Crisis Resources

Have a discussion about your suicide ideas with a qualified expert.

More On Mental Illness

Read up on some of the most prominent mental illnesses.

Are You or Someone You Know In Crisis?

You are not alone and help is available, dial the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline