In the wake of the mass shooting in Florida, the Massachusetts branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness is walking us through the steps of what to do if a child or loved one is showing warning signs or red flags.
"Make sure there are no weapons within 10 miles of that child. That's the first and most important thing," said Cheri Andes, the Massachusetts NAMI executive director.
If a child is in crisis, she says to call 911 immediately.
Andes also says there's an emergency services program in Massachusetts for people in crisis. That is run 24/7. The number is 877-382-1609.
You can put in your zip code to get your local emergency services provider.
"They will, in some cases, come out to the home to assess a child. It's one of the Commonwealth's most unknown, best resource," Andes said.
For non-emergencies, she says you can call NAMI to find therapists. They also offer classes and support.
"It's basically a help line, resource and referral line. It's statewide and we're able to put families in contact with emergency service providers, find clinicians in their communities," she said.
The NAMI Compass line to help find therapists and other resources is 800-370-9085.
Another resource is your child's pediatrician, if you're not in immediate crisis, says Andes. And when in doubt, she says talking to an expert sometimes helps.
"There's nothing to lose, and there's everything to gain," she explained.