SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif.- The World Health Organization reports that more than 700,000 people die by suicide every year.
Anthony Rodriguez wants people to know that they are not alone.
“I am a multiple attempts survivor of suicide,” said Santa Barbara Response Network Co-founder Anthony Rodriguez.
Rodriguez helped found the Santa Barbara Response Network to provide the support he desperately needed for the decades that he felt unseen.
This network has been providing free around the clock support since 2009.
This was around the time a string of teen suicides took place, rattling the south coast community.
“My daughter's death happened on February 21st. 2012,” said Santa Barbara resident Shelly Salinas.
Shelly Salinas is no stranger to grief.
She feels her daughter Ashlee’s spirit with her every day, and thanks the Santa Barbara response network for staying by her side all these years.
“Anthony is still there. He still checks on us,” said Salinas.
The Response Network has responded to everything from the Isla Vista massacre to the Thomas fire, and staffers want more people to become aware of the free service.
Anthony Rodriguez, Santa Barbara Response Network Co-founder:
“ 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call and just say, hey, you know, there's a death in the family or there is something traumatic to happen and we have to be invited in by the family. And if we're allowed to go in, we will do whatever we can to support them.”
Shelly Salinas has a message for anyone experiencing trauma or the pain of grief:
“Reach out to someone. There's always going to be someone there,” said Salinas.
Anyone can reach the Santa Barbara Response Network at (805) 699- 5608.
For mental health emergencies call 988.