Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
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 Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems 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 Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems.

  • 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

Symptoms, Signs & Effects of Suicidal Ideation

If you or your loved one are struggling with suicidal ideation, Vermilion is here to help. Learning about suicidal ideation can help you or your loved one manage its symptoms.

Understanding Self-Harm

Learn about suicidal ideation

Suicidal ideation refers to the presence of an unusual preoccupation with death and suicide. Typically, people who experience chronic suicidal ideation do not intend to follow through on their thoughts. When someone is experiencing consistent thoughts of suicide, they are forming ideas, sometimes fleeting considerations and sometimes more thought-out plans, not actually participating in the act itself. Yet, the relentless existence of this ideation can ultimately result in an individual crossing the line and making the fatal decision to commit the act.  With proper care and treatment, suicide can be prevented, especially if people pay attention to the warning signs of suicidal thoughts.

Statistics

Suicidal ideation statistics

As a result of the fact that suicidal ideation occurs in one’s own mind, it is nearly impossible to determine exactly how many people suffer from the plague of these types of ideas. However, it is estimated that, in the United States alone, someone attempts suicide every 38 seconds. Males are said to be four times more likely than females to actually complete the act of suicide, but females are believed to be much more susceptible to experiencing chronic suicidal ideation

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for suicidal ideation

The causes and risk factors that may lead a person to experience the onset of suicidal ideation are believed by many in the field to be the result of a combination of physical, environmental, and genetic factors, as described in the following:

Genetic: Due to the fact that suicidal ideation is often symptomatic of a mental illness and mental illnesses are known to run in families, it can be hypothesized that there is a genetic link that increases one’s level of susceptibility to experiencing this type of preoccupation with death by suicide. Researchers at Harvard University found that more than 50% of individuals who were born to parents who suffered from depression also developed symptoms of the illness, including suicidal ideation, before reaching the age of 20.

Physical: Ideations of suicide can be symptomatic of changes in a person’s brain chemistry due to the fact that chemical imbalances are associated with the onset of mental illnesses. The most commonly noted chemical imbalance that is thought to lead to onset of suicidal ideation is decreased levels of serotonin.

Environmental: There are a wide array of environmental factors that can lead to the onset of suicidal ideation. For example, when a person is subjected to living in unhealthy, tumultuous homes, he or she is at a higher risk of developing maladaptive emotional and mental thoughts and behavior patterns as a result of the inability to control his or her inner emotional turmoil. In addition, experiencing certain life stressors or various traumas can lead to the onset of thoughts of suicide.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of depression or other mental illness
  • Knowing someone who has committed suicide
  • Personal history of depression or other mental illness
  • Exposure to violence
  • Being physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abused or neglected
  • Experiencing other forms of trauma
  • Losing a family member or loved one
  • Substance use and addiction

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation

The way in which people may unconsciously be displaying signs that they are suffering from suicidal ideation will vary depending on such factors as the age of the person, the support system available to the person, the length of time that the person has had the thoughts, and the person’s individual temperament. The signs and symptoms that may indicate that a person is experiencing suicidal ideation may include:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • No longer participating in activities once enjoyed
  • Talking or writing about death / suicide
  • Isolating oneself from friends and family
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Self-injuring
  • Acting reckless / no longer caring about what can happen from participating in dangerous behaviors

Physical symptoms:

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Weight gain or weight loss as the result of changes in eating patterns
  • Noticeable changes in physical appearance

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Obsessive thoughts about death
  • Difficulty adhering to tasks at work / school

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Feeling “trapped”
  • Feeling as though there is no purpose to life
  • Diminished self-esteem / self-worth
  • Oscillating mood patterns
  • Increased irritability
  • Increased agitation
  • Increased anxiety
  • Increased depression
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness

Effects

Effects of suicidal ideation

The most obvious, and most concerning, effect of prolonged suicidal ideation is an individual acting on his or her thoughts and completing the act of suicide. However, this is not the only long-term effect of suffering from chronic suicidal ideation. The longer that these thought patterns persist, the more likely they are to intensify. As they continue to intensify, the more likely individuals are to begin experimenting with self-harming behaviors that could potentially lead to suicide attempts. Various examples of the different effects that can result from intentional or unintentional suicide attempts as a result of this self-harming behavior can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Excessive blood loss
  • Brain damage
  • Organ failure
  • Paralysis
  • Coma

Co-Occurring Disorders

Suicidal ideation and co-occurring disorders

Suicidal ideation is very commonly a symptom of mental illness. As the mental illness begins to control one’s mind, the prevalence of these ideations can become increasingly exacerbated. The most common mental health disorders known to co-occur with suicidal ideation include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia