Mental health professionals working in suicide prevention say almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has provided some clue or warning.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, overall risk factors include:

» Depression, mental disorder or substance-abuse disorder. More than 90 percent who die by suicide have these risk factors.

» Family history of suicide

» Family history of mental disorders

» Family violence such as physical or sexual abuse

For children and adolescents, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry lists these warning signs:

» Changes in eating or sleeping patterns

» Neglecting personal appearance

» Frequent physical complaints, stomachaches, headaches

» Loss of interest in pleasurable activities, sports, games

If you or a loved one need help, call 2-1-1 for free, confidential information, referral, crisis intervention and suicide prevention from 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County, a program of the Community Action Commission.

Other free, 24-hour Santa Barbara County services are the 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1.800.400.1572 and the SAFTY (Safe Alternatives for Treating Youth) Youth Crisis Hotline at 1.888.334.2777.

The National Suicide Prevention Line is available 24/7 at 1.800.273.8255. 

Additional resources are available from The Glendon Association, which is located at 115 W. Canon Perdido St. in Santa Barbara. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to save lives and enhance mental health by addressing the social problems of suicide, violence, child abuse and troubled interpersonal relationships.

Other national resources include the American Association of Suicidology, the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center

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Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at