Suicide Prevention: What Can You Do to Help?

Suicide Prevention: What Can You Do to Help?

By Lauren Hernandez

                If someone you care about has recently expressed suicidal thoughts or has told you they have attempted suicide, it is important to offer support to that person and to seek professional help. Suicide attempts are often triggered when a person cannot handle the certain stressors and do not have stable coping mechanisms to overcome these obstacles. People considering suicide typically struggle with other mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as a variety of other conditions. If someone has shared their suicidal thoughts with you, provide them with close comfort by staying with them. Even if you are unsure of what to say, it is important for that person to know that they are not alone.

It is important to make a plan, that encourages at risk individuals to see a provider such as a psychologist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who can offer professional help. If they are overwhelmed by their workload, perhaps try to ease their worries by offering to help them complete specific burdening tasks. It is important to offer them a way in which they can surround themselves with supportive people, perhaps invite them to a relaxing and judgement free space with a few friends. Additionally, help them to find ways in which they can practice self-care, healthy eating, exercise, and sleep, as well as listening to music and other activities that help to boost mood.

It is important to recognize that although you are trying to help a loved one to the best of your ability, the person struggling with suicidal thoughts needs professional care and therapy. There is only so much you can do to help and that is why reaching out to safety networks is essential. Other resources you should find in your area include mental health providers such as a psychologist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who can work with the patient to create a plan and prescribe medication. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 to request immediate assistance and hospitalization to prevent self-harm or a possible suicide from happening. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24/7 confidential Lifeline which is available at any time for anyone in the United States to get support if you or a loved one is in crisis. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number is 1-800-273-8255. To find more information on how to help yourself or someone in crisis can be found on these websites:

If you or a loved one is suffering from suicidal thoughts please contact Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy, located in New York and New Jersey to speak to licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists. To contact the office in Paramus NJ, call (201) 368-3700. To contact the office in Manhattan, call (212) 722-1920. For more information, please visit .






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Suicide: Fighting Suicidal Thoughts

By: Sally Santos

If you are someone who is suffering with suicidal thoughts, you should be aware that most people that have attempted to commit suicide but did not succeed feel relieved that they did not succeed in ending their life. When things get tough sometimes your mind starts racing and you feel overwhelmed with emotions. Suicide doesn’t just happen on its own, it is led by many social risk factors some of them being:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Employment status
  • Lack of social support

Many people who have attempted to commit suicide will say that they were experiencing very intense feelings of hopelessness. They felt like they had lost control of their lives and that nothing is going to get better. But that is not true. In that moment it may feel hopeless but there are ways to help you feel better. You do not have to feel like you have to fight your battles alone. In order to steer away from those thoughts it is important to keep in mind a plan just in case your thoughts become too overwhelming. It is recommended to make a list of all the positive things that you have in your life such as:

  • Read a favorite book or listen to your favorite music
  • Write down positive things about yourself or the favorite aspects of your life
  • Try to get a goodnights sleep
  • Have a list of people you trust to call in case you want to talk

Always note that you can discuss how you have been feeling with a healthcare provider. They can provide you with the advice and help that you need in order to achieve a faster and healthy recovery. Lastly, as mentioned in an article in Psychology Today it’s important to “remember that you have not always felt this way and that you will not always feel this way”. The emotions and thoughts that you have now are temporary not permanent.



If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit


Suicide and Mental Health Issues in College Students

By Samantha Glosser

Many students expect their college years to be the best years of their lives. They will achieve great academic successes, make life-long friends, go to the best parties, and enjoy living away from their parents. This idea is emphasized all around us in movies, TV shows, and social media posts. However, this is a glorified image of college that may not be the case for all students. In fact, according to a recent study by the American College Health Association, about 1 in every 11 college students have attempted suicide; 1 in 5 students has considered suicide and 1 in 5 students engage in self-harm.

How could these statistics be true when students are told that they are living in the best years of their lives? As it turns out, the college years are filled with numerous different stressors. These stressors include academic and career difficulties, intimate relationships, finances, personal and family health problems, issues with personal appearance, and death of family members and friends, just to name a few. 3 out of every 4 college students have experienced at least one of these stressors within the last year. These stressors are highly associated with mental health diagnoses, self-harm, and suicidality. The societal pressure that college should be the best years of your life can also be contributing to these statistics. If a student feels alone or thinks that no one else is experiencing similar feelings, it can push them closer towards self-harm and suicide.

If you or someone you know appears to be at immediate risk of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you are not at immediate risk, but appear to be suffering from suicidal thoughts or other mental health issues, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit


Group Therapy

Alice Cordero

According to, Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy treatment where several people meet together under the supervision of a therapist in a particular setting. Group therapy is a form of therapy that can be used in conjunction with individual therapy and medication.  The benefits of group therapy include:

  • Modeling
    • Patients are able to witness how others in the group cope with their problems in positive ways and apply it to their lives.
    • Patients learn from other group member’s mistakes.
  • Helps improve social skills
    • In group therapy, most of the time each individual has to share something about themselves and how they are doing; this helps improve the patient’s interpersonal relationships and understand that they are not alone in this particular process.
  • Increased feedback
    • Provides patients with different perspectives/ coping methods
    • Gives patients a view of how others handle their particular situation
    • Provides individuals with personal feedback through other patients perceptions of themselves
  • Support Network
    • Having multiple individuals who are going through the same gives each patients the opportunity to build a support system that they can use


Group therapy involves members expressing their feelings, problems, ideas, and reactions towards other members. Studies have shown that group therapy has been effective in addressing countless problems, including: anxiety, depression, addictive disorders, substance abuse, death, lifestyle issues, and relationship issues.

If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the conditions listed above or think you/ they could benefit from group therapy, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): It’s More than Just Post-Holiday Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): It’s More than Just Post-Holiday Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a subtype of depression in which the person experiences feelings of sadness, a sudden loss of interest in things they usually enjoy and an overall negative fluctuation from their baseline mood. SAD is different from regular depression in that the contributing factors are a bit more specific: these include less natural sunlight and the nostalgia that usually follows the holiday season. The symptoms of SAD can vary from person to person but usually include persistent sad, anxious or “empty feelings”, feelings of pessimism and hopelessness, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, fatigue and decreased energy, insomnia or excessive sleeping, difficulty concentrating, irritability and restlessness as well as thoughts of suicide and/ or attempts at suicide ( More often than not, when these symptoms show up during the winter months, it may be more serious than just post-holiday blues.

Although women are 70% more likely to experience depression in their lifetime and the likelihood of experience peaks at 32 years old, anyone can experience it. Therefore it is a matter that should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know thinks that they may have SAD, talk to a therapist as soon as possible. He/she can tell you about the various treatment options that are used to combat SAD. This could include light therapy, psychotherapy and/or antidepressant medications. Light therapy helps to reset your body’s daily rhythms and increase melatonin that may have been thrown off and decreased due to the lack of natural sunlight. Unfortunately, light therapy alone does not always help. Therefore psychotherapy and/or medications are usually the treatments of choice. Psychotherapy allows you to gain insight into your depression and learn how to change certain behaviors and thought patterns that may be making things worse for you; when combined with antidepressants that increase certain chemicals in your brain that are involved in regulating your mood, the long term prognosis of SAD is bright (no pun intended!).

If you believe that you are a loved one has or may have seasonal affective disorder, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices respectively at (201)-368-3700 or (212)-722-1920 to set up an appointment. Visit for more information.


By: Shivani J. Patel

Bipolar Disorder: Importance of Treatment

Bipolar-Disorder-treatment1By: Michelle J. Hong

Thousands of Americans today suffer from a mental illness known as bipolar disorder. This common disorder is commonly known to be a complex, difficult disease due to the manifestations of the ups of mania and lows of depression. The individual experiences unpredictable moods such as bursts of overconfidence, restlessness, suicidal thoughts, etc., through “manic” and “depressive” episodes that bleed over to various aspects of an individual’s life, such as the workplace, home, and social settings. Unfortunately, these two opposite states can present themselves simultaneously, which makes the disease that much more difficult to cope with emotionally, mentally, and physically. The onset of this disease is usually during adolescence and early adulthood, but it can happen at any age. The causes of bipolar disorder could be due to chemical changes in your brain, family history, or it could be unclear. This disease also does not discriminate; it can affect people across all ages, genders, and races.

Bipolar disorder is a serious, long-term illness, and treatment and therapy are vital to self-improvement and management of the illness. Although bipolar disorder cannot be prevented, it can be managed through two types of treatments: medicine and talk therapy. There are prescribed medicine known as mood-stabilizers that can work to control an individual’s moods and “stabilize” states. Talk therapy involves talking to a psychologist, social worker, or mental health counselor in order to learn how the disease influences an individual’s character, emotions, and actions. There are devastating consequences if this mental illness goes untreated; a majority of untreated individuals are in constant states of struggle and are easily susceptible to depression, which can lead individuals to self-harm or attempt suicide. If left untreated, individuals can become psychotic which is characterized by hallucinations and delusions. The instability of the mind will increase because this disease is not fleeting; it lasts a lifetime.

If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and might be suffering from bipolar disorder or depression, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. Visit for more information


The Rise of Suicidal Thoughts in Adolescents; and the impact of Cyber-Bullying:

By: Michelle Dierna

The rise in suicidal thoughts in Adolescents

The Rise in Suicidal Thoughts in Adolescents

With suicide being one of the leading causes of death for young people, it is important to recognize the patterns of behavior that might indicate suicide. People experiencing suicidal thoughts usually have feelings of despair, hopelessness and no self- worth; they feel there is no purpose or meaning in their life. Usually people suffering with suicidal thoughts are suffering with a psychiatric disorder whether known or unknown.

The explanation for the current rise in suicide is not yet known precisely, but suicide rates have been rising historically. One can say that people have been committing suicide more often today because of tough economic times; unemployment is much higher then it was years ago.

Statistics show that nine out of ten people who commit or attempt suicide have at least one major psychiatric illness and in half of these cases two or more such illnesses are present. Most common of these psychiatric conditions are mood disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, and behavior disorders. This is an attempt to explain the role of mental illness in youth suicide using the theoretical perspectives of abnormal behavior and the V Axes Diagnosis system.”{Sarason, B.R; theoriesofsucidalbehavior}”

 Suicide is one of the biggest causes of death in adolescents worldwide:

*“In the US, about 20% of adolescents seriously consider suicide and between 5% and 8% of adolescents attempt suicide each year.“Some estimates suggest that – depending on the country of origin – between 5% and 20% of children are victims of physical, verbal or exclusion-based bullying. Previous studies have also confirmed that bullying is a strong risk factor for adolescent suicide.” {Kim; Psychologytoday}

The rise in technology and social media websites make bullying easier because the bully is not face to face with the victim or victims. It is easier to bully through social media websites than in a face-to-face conversation. This makes it very easy for bullies to freely comment about people, who then become victims and have little to no control over the situation. Social media sites are for the most part public, and when an individual is being bullied and can’t control what the person on the other side of the computer is doing, the victim can only feel the pain of the words expressed about him/her. Cyber bullying attacks can result in a build up of strong negative emotional issues- especially in adolescents.

Cyber bullying is more strongly related to suicidal thoughts in children and adolescents than traditional bullying, according to a new analysis published in JAMA Pediatrics.”{Geel; JAMAPediatrics}

Changes in an individual’s behavior such as the following may be signs of suicidal thoughts:

  • having abnormal obsessions with violence, dying and/or death
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless
  • being in an elevated state of anxiety & depression
  • Change in personality (more moody and impulsive) with daily routines
  • Change of sleep patterns
  • consuming (more) drugs &alcohol
  • engaging in risky behavior

 If you or a loved one might be struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, and are concerned, feel free to contact our Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan, New York offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, we have successfully helped many with similar concerns.

Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920

More detailed information can be found at

 * Emergency:

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline



1.Relationship Between Peer Victimization, Cyber bullying, and Suicide in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-analysis. Mitch van Geel, et al., JAMA Pediatrics, doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4143, published online 10 March 2014.Additional source: JAMA news release accessed 10 March 2014.

2. Kim, Jen. “Suicidal Thoughts.” Psychology Today, n.d.>.

  1. Nordqvist, Christian. Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 09 June>.

4.Sarason, B. R., & Sarason, I. G. (2005). Abnormal psychology: The problem of
maladaptive behavior (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson
Education, Inc..