Trauma-based & Family Psychotherapy For Angry, Anxious, Depressed, and Frustrated Families

Suicidal Intent Can Be Identified With 3 Important Questions

Suicidal thoughts Would you know how to monitor for suicidal thoughts?

Would you know what to look for in someone considering suicide?

If not, you’re certainly not alone. Most people struggle to correctly identify the intensity of someone’s suicidal thoughts and intent. It isn’t easy to figure this out because humans are so complex.

This article will discuss 3 important questions you can ask someone who may be contemplating ending their own life.

When I see parents in my office for the first time I ask them to provide me with a “list” of behaviors of their child or teen that caused them to think their child wanted to kill themselves. When parents do this I often find they struggle to come up with behaviors to share. One reason for this is because every child is different and depending on what has happened in school or among peers for that day, alarming behaviors may cease temporarily.

As a result, it is important that we become knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms that someone is exploring and contemplating suicide. Most people struggle with where to start and aren’t comfortable bringing the topic up. No matter how close you may feel to the person possibly considering suicide, the topic is daunting.

In the video below, I discuss the 3 most important questions you should ask someone who you suspect may be considering suicide:

  1. Are you thinking about suicide?
  2. How often do you think about it? On a scale from 1-10 (10 = worse) how intense are your thoughts?
  3. Do you have a plan or know what you would do?



When I ask clients why they are considering suicide I often notice 3 major reasons:

  1. Existential crisis: Having questions about what this life is all about. A lot of “why” questions.
  2. Religious and philosophical questioning: Wondering if there is a God and if so, why is pain and suffering permitted.
  3. Inability to master their environment or the things in their lives that make them feel helpless or hopeless.


I previously discussed these things in the videos below:

Existential Crisis and Faith:

Reasons for suicide:


As always, I wish you well

*CORONA VIRUS UPDATE1050 Lincoln Way, Ste 1 - Pittsburgh PA

States across the nation are passing laws, reducing restrictions, and enacting new regulations to help support the transition from stay-at-home orders to the normal flow of life again.

To keep everyone at Anchored Child & Family Counseling safe, I will only be opening the office for in-person sessions 1 day of the week. The other days of the week will consist of teletherapy sessions until the mask wearing restrictions are reduced or eliminated and corona virus cases have gone down.

My office assistant and I will be monitoring insurance policies for any changes to corona-related cost share, copayment, and coinsurance policies. I will be checking and rechecking insurance policies to ensure you will be covered for teletherapy. At this time, all major insurance companies (UPMC, Highmark, Aetna, Optum/United, and Cigna) are continuing to provide coverage for teletherapy into September 2020.

Please check (the practice website) for updates and my business facebook page at:

Please continue to stay safe!
Thank you



Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC

Licensed Child & Family Therapist
National Board Certified Counselor
Internationally Certified Trauma Therapist

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