With some recent high-profile suicides in the Region, there are signs people can look out for to tell if their loved ones are in need of mental health treatment, local experts say.

LaSaundra Gordon, a therapist for New Leaf Resources in Lansing, says warning signs include if a person is withdrawing, isolating, not hanging out with friends.

Other signals are if the individual is feeling hopeless — saying things like, "What's the point of being here?" or "Nobody cares about me — or giving things away, Gordon said.

"I'm a big fan of 'see something, say something,'" she said. "If you see something that doesn't seem right, say something to a teacher, say something to a parent."

If someone expresses thoughts of wanting to kill himself, take him to the hospital emergency room, even if that person is yourself, Gordon said. She said she'd "rather you hate me and live than love me and die."

"If a person is actively suicidal, there's absolutely nothing you can say to them that is going to change that," she said. "Most people don't actually want to die and kill themselves.

"In that state, they believe they do. ... In that state, they believe it's their only option, which is why talking to people is extremely helpful."

Keep reading for FREE!
Enjoy more articles by signing up or logging in. No credit card required.

She said sometimes you need to show people "how important their life is, how much value they have."

"We need to connect, encourage, engage and say something," Gordon said. "If they say they don't want to be here, believe them."

The problem of suicide spans the state — and country. Suicides are rising in Indiana and the United States even as other causes of death are declining, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported.

Since 1999, Indiana suicides have increased almost every year, with 1,034 of them in 2016, the Indiana State Department of Health reported. It is the 10th-leading cause of death in the state and second-leading cause, behind accidents, for people between the ages of 15 and 34.

People who are feeling suicidal are encouraged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. It is available 24/7.

Times staff writer Bob Kasarda contributed to this report

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Health Reporter

Giles is the health reporter for The Times, covering the business of health care as well as consumer and public health. He previously wrote about health for the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.