Recognizing symptoms of mental illness

Were learning more about the man who Santa Monica police say went on a chaotic shooting rampage killing five people. Authorities say the suspect had mental issues in the past.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Itâ??s becoming an all too common issue those accused of killing several people are said to have had a history of mental illness.

From the Colorado movie shooting to Sandy Hook and recently here in South Carolina a close call at Ashley Hall in Charleston.

Geoffrey Williams is the Director of Outpatient Services at Palmetto Health.

He says to be on the lookout for the following symptoms if you believe someone you know is suffering from mental illness.

â??If there is a dramatic change in functioning. A person who is normally every outgoing becomes more withdrawn. If a person is not sleeping well, eating well, there's apathy in activities or things that they would normally be interested in,â?? says Geoffrey Williams, Palmetto Health.

He also says if you notice the problem donâ??t be in denial and seek help for that person.

"Are they worried about what other people are they worried that the person will get upset with them,â?? says Williams.

Here in the Palmetto State lawmakers giving the final approval to legislation that would give federal authorities information about people who've been determined by a court to have mental problems.

Lawmakers began discussing ways to address gun safety and mental illness after the February arrest of Alice Boland.

Authorities say she unsuccessfully tried to fire a handgun at officials at Ashley Hall in Charleston this year.

Williams says even if it feels like a burden helping someone deal with their mental illness issue may help to improve their quantity of life.

â??Because mental health sometimes have a behavioral component to it, we tend to be more anxious about noticing them, well its just this, maybe its just that and in fact they can persist and deteriorate if we ignore them,â?? says Williams.