Suicidal Thoughts & Self-Harm

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Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal ideation refers to thoughts about wanting to take one’s own life. Within this definition are two different ideas: passive suicidal ideation and active suicidal ideation. The passive type of thinking means that you wish you were dead, but you don’t plan to commit suicide. Passive suicide ideation is serious, because it can quickly become active. Active ideation means that you are not only thinking about suicide, but actively intending and perhaps even planning to commit suicide.

Warning signs that you or a loved one is thinking about suicide include:

  • Isolating from loved ones
  • Talking about death or suicide
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless
  • Giving away possessions
  • Experiencing mood swings, anger, irritability
  • Increasing substance misuse and abuse
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Obtaining guns, drugs, meds
  • Saying goodbye to people


Self-harm, also called self-injury, self-cutting or self-mutilation, refers to the act of deliberately hurting oneself. Self-harm is generally not attempted suicide but rather a coping mechanism. Self-harm appears to help people suffering from eating disorders, substance abuse, depression and other disorders to feel better or more in control. An addictive behavior, self-harm is difficult to stop without the help of a self-harm therapist.

Self-harm is used by some people to deal with strong emotions and may have the same cathartic effect that crying provides for others. To prevent their aggressive emotions from hurting others, people who cannot deal with their strong emotions may turn inward and harm themselves to get relief.  

Suicide Counseling and Self-Harm Counseling

Aspen Valley Wellness offers diagnosis as well as self-harm and suicide counseling in our Orem, Utah clinic. Self-harm and suicide therapy may take place in individual, family or group therapy settings. Treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), neurofeedback, medication, audio-visual entrainment (AVE) and cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). Our self-harm and suicide therapists work with each client to create an optimal, individualized treatment plan.

In Case of Emergency

Our suicide therapists are not on call. If you or a loved one is in immediate danger — threatening or attempting suicide — please call 911 now.

Helpful Suicide Resources

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7. If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or need emotional support, call the Lifeline network at 1-800-273-8255. This service is free and confidential.

The Utah Suicide Prevention Hotline is dedicated to suicide prevention, the promotion of resiliency and supporting those impacted by suicide. Call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak to a licensed clinician. The service is free, local and anonymous.

The Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline connects you to a caring, qualified responder with the Department of Veteran Affairs. Many of the responders are veterans. Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text to 838255 or connect online to chat.

Groups most at risk for committing suicide include adults over the age of 45, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. Other groups at greater risk than the general population are veterans, youth and young adults, loss survivors, LGBTQ+ individuals, attempt survivors and disaster survivors. Learn more and get help today.

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