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Suicide intervention advice: how to keep yourself safe, while helping others

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Tyler, TX (KYTX) -- Investigators in Kaufman County piecing together how a woman who tried to stop someone from taking their life, lost her own in the process.

The shooting has mental health experts speaking up about how to intervene if someone threatens suicide.

"If someone's mood is changing to where they seem hopeless, helpless, and feeling worthless, it's good to encourage them to get some help," Rosie Niebuhr, ETMC Behavioral Health Program Coordinator, said.

Help is exactly what investigators in Kaufman County believe the victim, Brittany Markham of Kemp, 21, was trying to do on Monday before she was shot.

The sheriff's office reports Markham was trying to keep the second victim, James Alan Nix, 41, from hurting himself when the gun went off.

ETMC experts say it's important for loved ones to recognize signs of depression early.

"Being isolated, staying in your room by yourself, not wanting to go places, a change in eating and sleeping habits are signs," said Niebuhr.

In some rare cases, it may be necessary for loved ones to take drastic steps.

"If someone has a gun and they've been making those kind of threats, it's very important to get those things out of the house," Niebuhr advises.

Representatives with Mental Health America of Texas say if you find yourself in a dangerous situation, to get help as fast as you can. "I would pick up a phone and call 9-1-1, if it's that kind of imminent situation," Mary Ellen Nudd, Vice President of Mental Health America of Texas, said.

The investigation is ongoing. We do know the two victims knew one another and will bring you more on this story as it develops.

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