Suicidal Ideation

Having thoughts about, or an unusual preoccupation with, suicide is defined as suicidal ideation. Suicidal ideation can vary from fleeting thoughts of suicide to detailed planning and unsuccessful attempts. Suicidal ideation often goes hand in hand with depression, although a person may also begin to have thoughts of suicide when they have trouble managing an overwhelming situation, like the loss of a loved one or a job, a break-up, feelings of remorse or rejection, or sexual abuse. While many people who experience suicidal ideation never make a suicide attempt, enough do that it is considered a dangerous condition. Treatment with a mental health professional is one of the best ways to prevent suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away (call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255).

Local experts in Suicidal Ideation

Stacey Vallas (she/her)

Professional Counselor Associate


Thoughts of suicide are common and are usually signposts to a person's unmet needs for connection and meaning. Often these thoughts and feelings come from past hurt or trauma. As a crisis line volunteer and a therapist, l have extensive trauma-informed training and experience in suicide intervention and helping people better understand and heal the suffering at the core of suicidal thoughts.

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Monica Marquard (she/her)

Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

MA, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

I have several years worth of experience working with clients with passive and active suicidal ideations. I am very comfortable working with clients to safety plan and also to normalize suicidal ideations. I help clients address the shame associated with suicidal ideations. I believe that it is a powerful step when clients can name the thoughts that they are having and can furthermore share this with someone in your life.

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Matt Coffey

Professional Counselor Associate

LPCA, LMHCA, NCC, Ecotherapy Certificate

I am a researcher exploring sources for suicidal behavior in firefighters. This background highlights some of the common sources of distress, including burnout, lack of close relationships, and lack of meaning.

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Kimberly Zeszutek, LPC (She/Her/Hers)

Licensed Professional Counselor


Working with suicide since 2014, I am confident and skilled in approaching and supporting suicidal idealization for adolescents and adults. I support the zero suicided initiative for increasing discussion of SI to increase safety. I have extensive experience with high risk clients and supporting them into skill building, tolerating stress, and choosing thoughts of life rather than thoughts of death. I approach suicidal idealization and self-harm with a balance of empathy, concern, and hope.

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Forrest Pandit-Kerr

Professional Counselor Associate


It can be scary telling someone that you're having thoughts of suicide even if they are fleeting. You might be worried that someone will want you to go to the hospital which can be traumatic in and of itself. Much of my career has been spent working with individuals who experience chronic suicidal ideation. I have worked to normalize and fight stigma around this topic. I have taken the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. With your consent I will work with you to stay safe.

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Alli Santa (she/her/hers)

Professional Counselor Associate


I have had family and friends who have experienced suicidal ideation and self harm. This has inspired me to help others. I have worked with several adults and teenagers who have experienced suicidal ideation and have found CBT and DBT to be effective types of treatment.

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Laura La Rosa (She/Her)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker


I know that your thoughts of self harm are temporary. Your thoughts are not all of who you are, in fact they are one small part. Let’s work together to understand the pain that creates these thoughts and then lets create a new understanding about yourself that includes a positve narrative that supports who you really are. We are never our thoughts. Ever!

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