Suicidal ideation can be a terrifying thing for children and adolescents to experience. Some are plagued by these thoughts without knowing why, while others are unable to stop the recurring thoughts because they have experienced something or are struggling with a mental illness that has taken away their freedom to ignore the thoughts. There are some children who also find themselves participating in problematic sexual behaviors; some doing so consciously as a means of gaining control and some doing so without understanding why they are acting in such a way. These behaviors have the potential to lead individuals to experience suicidal ideation because they are unable to think of any other way to put an end to their behaviors.
At Piney Ridge Treatment Center, we offer programs designed to meet the needs of children and adolescents who are suffering from the devastating combination of sexually maladaptive behaviors and suicidal ideation. We are the only treatment center in the state of Arkansas that has a program tailored for the specific purpose of meeting the unique needs that these children and adolescents present. Since 1996, we have been successfully providing thorough and comprehensive care for boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 17 and we want to help your child get the help that he or she needs and deserves.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
While suicidal ideation is terrifying for the child or adolescent experiencing it, it can also be terrifying for his or her family as well. If suicidal ideation is something that your child is struggling with, you may feel helpless as to what you can do in order to help him or her overcome the thoughts. You probably also experience constant fear that the thoughts will turn into actions without your having the ability to stop it.
If you are questioning whether or not your child is truly experiencing suicidal ideation, here are some examples of symptoms that children may exhibit when struggling with these thoughts:
- Self-harm (also pay attention to whether or not long-sleeves or long pants are being worn despite it being warm outside as this may be done as a means of hiding any marks or scars that have been left as a result of self-harming behaviors)
- Noticeable changes in physical appearance (possibly no longer caring how they look)
- Significant weight gain or weight loss
- Acting reckless / participating in risky behaviors
- Verbally threatening to hurt oneself
- Talking and/or writing about death
- Dramatic mood changes
- Giving away possessions
These are all warning signs that should be taken seriously. Even if you are unsure as to the severity of your child’s behaviors, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Thorough psychosocial assessments can be administered in order to help determine what mental state your child is in.
Residential treatment programs have proven to be an extremely beneficial resource for getting your child the help that he or she needs. By receiving proper treatment, children and adolescents dealing with suicidal ideation while also acting out in sexually maladaptive behaviors can learn self-control and find ways to successfully manage their symptoms before they make an irreversible decision.
Why Seek Residential Treatment at Piney Ridge
If you have come to a point where you are able to recognize that your child is in need of a serious intervention, you are probably wrestling with the idea of whether or not residential treatment is the best idea for getting him or her help. Making the decision to admit your child into such an intensive treatment can be frightening, but the consequences of not doing so can be fatal.
Residential treatment programs have proven to be extremely effective in helping children overcome the distressing symptoms of suicidal ideation while also gaining control of their problematic sexual behaviors. When children enter a residential treatment program, they are immediately stepping into a safe environment where they will not only be cared for, but will also be monitored 24/7. In addition to this sense of comfort and safety, residential programs provide children and adolescents with the ability to take a break from the routines of their everyday lives, which will allow them to leave behind the stressful triggers that may exacerbating their thoughts and behaviors. In doing so, they are able to focus solely on their treatment and on becoming well.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Piney Ridge Treatment Center, we believe that every child and family that comes to us for treatment is genuinely unique and deserves to be provided with a treatment plan that is tailored to meet those unique sets of needs.
The multidisciplinary staff at Piney Ridge recognizes that sexual thoughts and behaviors are meant to be private aspects of people’s lives. We understand that addressing problematic sexual behaviors must be done in a therapeutic manner with the sole purpose of teaching children and adolescents how to reshape their future behaviors. We also understand that the added symptoms of suicidal ideation can elicit the need for additional aspects of treatment that will help get that part of our patients’ lives under control as well. Our program is designed to give patients a means of learning how to accept responsibility for their past behaviors so that they are able to make the changes they need to in order to get well, while also helping them develop coping skills in order to overcome their suicidal thoughts.
Types of Treatment Offered at Piney Ridge
At Piney Ridge, we have designed our treatment programs to meet the needs of our patients by using an evidence-based model of care with trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy at the core. We use a combination of therapeutic techniques in order to provide the highest level of holistic treatment possible. These therapeutic techniques include the following:
Medication management: One aspect of successfully managing the symptoms that your child may be experiencing as a result of suicidal ideation or a sexual behavior problem could potentially come in the form of medication. Our residential program has three psychiatrists and an internist that will meet with your child at least once every 28 days in order to monitor the therapeutic effects of any medication that is prescribed. Additional appointments will be added based on the needs of each child.
Individual therapy: Individual therapy sessions are held at a minimum of once per week. During these sessions, patients meet with their therapist on a one-to-one basis in order to work towards developing personal problem-solving and coping skills. This time can also be used to teach patients appropriate behaviors, identify traumatic events that may be causing them pain, and learn how to gain control over their impulsivity.
Group therapy: Group therapy sessions are used as a time for our patients to meet together in order to enhance positive social interactions and reinforce the coping skills that they are learning. These sessions are held on a daily basis and include goal groups in the morning and rehab groups in the evening. Group sessions cover a number of different topics including family issues, anger management, sexual safety, and empathy skills.
Family therapy: The role that the family plays in a patient’s treatment is of the utmost importance. Without family involvement, anything that is learned throughout the course of treatment might fall to the wayside once the patient has left the program. Family sessions are held on a weekly or biweekly basis in order to help parents and other family members learn how to implement rules about negative behaviors, how to use strategies to reduce problematic behaviors, and how to enhance coping and social skills. They are also designed to help families gain an understanding of why their loved one is acting out in the ways that they are.
In addition to these family sessions, visitation time is made available to family members on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.
School: By admitting your child into a residential program, you may feel concerned about him or her falling behind in school. But you do not have to worry because all of the patients in our residential program attend school Monday through Friday. We have a wonderful staff of teachers who each hold certifications in special education, and there are never more than 15 students in a classroom, which means that your child will get the attention that he or she deserves. Every patient has his or her own individualized education plan and all credits that are accumulated during their time spent in our program will be transferred to his or her home public school. Tutoring and college prep are available to all patients, and high school students are able to graduate while still remaining in treatment.
Experiential program: Because we want our treatment to be as holistic as possible, we offer a thorough experiential program in addition to the traditional therapeutic methods. Aspects of this program include recreational therapy, spiritual therapy, and expressive therapies. We also have occupational therapists and speech therapists on staff to work with patients when necessary.
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
At Piney Ridge, we ensure that the discharge process is a thorough one because we know that this can be an intimidating and anxiety-provoking time for our patients. We understand that in order for patients to leave our program with the comfort and knowledge that they can return to their lives at home, continued care is often necessary. We will make referrals for this continuing care appropriately based on each patient’s treatment plan. Case management occurs continuously throughout treatment, so patients are introduced to the discharge process thoroughly and intensively prior to the end of their programming so that their transition out of treatment will go as smoothly as possible. For our teenage patients, we can help arrange transfers to college, to the military, or to independent living situations, based on their needs or desires.
We don’t want you and your child to continue suffering. At Piney Ridge Treatment Center, we will do everything in our power to ensure that all of your child’s needs are met so that he or she can leave treatment with the confidence of knowing that he or she can successfully go on to lead a happy and fulfilling life.