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For many suicidal people, the desire to die is moderated by a competing desire to live. This study aimed to demonstrate the ability of a wish-to-live versus wish-to-die index score to measure ambivalence and trichotomize suicidal inpatients into distinct stratified risk groups. Analyses revealed that index scores calculated for patients at treatment start significantly discriminated among the groups at index and uniquely predicted suicidal ideation, hopelessness, and depression scores across treatment. On average, patients with wish-to-live and wish-to-die orientations resolved suicidal ideation by discharge. Changes in suicidal ideation among ambivalently oriented patients were more variable. Clinical and research implications are discussed.