Photo of therapist Andrew Holmgren holding a fish, one of his hobbies outside of work.

Andrew Holmgren’s Commitment to Preventing Suicide

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States in those between the ages of 15 and 24, an alarming statistic that underscores the urgent need for compassionate and effective mental health care. Andrew Holmgren, a clinical therapist in Family Care Center’s Franklin, TN, clinic, has committed his career to helping patients and families affected by mental health conditions that often include a high risk of suicide. This commitment is rooted in a blend of personal experiences, professional dedication, and a deep empathy for those in distress.

Andrew’s path to becoming a therapist began early in his life. Growing up in Franklin, he was profoundly influenced by his father, an assistant district attorney handling child abuse cases. This exposure to the harsh realities of abuse and its impact on children steered Andrew toward a career in behavioral health.

After obtaining his Master’s in Education for Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Louisville, Andrew gained extensive experience in various therapeutic settings. His work ranged from inpatient and intensive outpatient programs in Louisville, KY to community and school-based services in New Orleans, LA while also obtaining his Doctorate in Counselor Education from the University of New Orleans.

This diverse background equipped him with the skills to handle a broad spectrum of mental health issues, including the complex dynamics of suicidal ideation.

Building trust and encouraging dialogue

Andrew approaches each therapy session with empathy and respect, allowing clients to direct the conversation. By acknowledging the individual’s feelings and experiences, he helps them navigate their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment. This client-centered approach fosters a healing environment where individuals feel safe to explore their mental health concerns.

When it comes to suicide, Andrew recognizes that ideation is a common thought process associated with overwhelming stress and emotional pain – regardless of a patient’s age. So, he emphasizes understanding the normalcy of these thoughts while assessing risk and severity to determine the most appropriate response. It could be a safety plan and conversation with supporters or hospitalization for those cases where safety cannot be assured.

“I’ve had young patients say, ‘I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up,'”Andrew shared. “I’ve also had patients who live in a state of constant fight or flight, where they maintain an outward appearance of peace and normalcy for others, but internally, they feel agony and stress. It’s a hard way to live.”

Andrew emphasizes the importance of community and family support in effectively addressing these thoughts and feelings. He also provides the tools to help his patients develop healthy coping mechanisms and improve emotional resilience.

Andrew’s Community Connection – AFSP

Andrew and the Franklin team actively support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and its Find Hope Franklin meetings, which are monthly gatherings of mental health and local government organizations. These meetings highlight and share vital resources with local businesses and agencies, focusing on suicide awareness and addressing mental health needs throughout Williamson County.

By participating in these initiatives, Andrew and the team seek to ensure that there is awareness of the mental health resources Family Care Center has in the community and develop relationships with other organizations seeking to address the stigma associated with seeking care.

Appointments in days, not months

Taking the first step on your mental health journey is easier than you might think.

* Family Care Center is in-network with most major health insurance plans!

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