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Signs of a mental emergency

Signs of a mental emergency
Posted at 9:03 AM, Feb 17, 2018

The FBI said Friday the organization failed to act on a tip about someone who would later ring shots throughout a Florida high school.

Someone called the agency last month with concerns about the teen's behavior.

FOX 47's Cryss Walker spoke with mental health experts who say there are often warning signs before a tragedy like this happens.

Before 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire and killed 17 people at a Parkland, Florida high school a person close to Cruz contacted the FBI after noticing disturbing social media post, erratic behavior and even stated that Cruz had a desire to kill.

Adult Mental Health Services Director Shana Badgley from Community Mental Health says those claims are classic warning signs of a mental illness.

“Anytime you have suicidality or homicidally to tell someone”, said Badgley.

“Just like with any medical emergency that would be a psychiatric emergency."

An emergency so serious that it should not be brushed off.

"That could be depression, that could be anger, that can be anxiety, and I think when you have the inability to cope and the lack of skills to deal with that, your body will express it in some shape form or fashion”, said Badgley.

Mental health experts say the signs are always there, even if the warning is subtle which usually starts with a change in behavior.

"Did they use to be social? Have they suffered you know incredible loses or increased stressed and not had the ability or skills to deal with that and maybe no one paid attention”, said Badgley.

Remember, if you see something, say something.

"You may want to ask them, again, what's going on with you, that doesn't seem like you know, something you would normally say, do you need help? How can I help you", explained Badgley.

Experts say if you notice signs that someone may want to harm others or take their own life call police and let them know where that person is so they can check on them.