Suicide is not an easy subject to talk about but local experts said the statistics in Kern County are too staggering to ignore.
"I've lost two brothers and a cousin to suicide," Ellen Eggert, a mental health expert at Mary. K. Shell Mental Health Services in Bakersfield, said.
She uses her past to create a better future for others.
"I didn't know anything when they past but I've learned so much more and I have learned that it's preventable."
There were 113 deaths by suicide in Kern County in 2013. At Mary K. Shell Mental Health Center in Bakersfield, their goal is to help prevent suicides and help families cope after the tragedy.
"The person who takes their own life is not thinking about the pain they're putting their family in, they just want an end to their pain. Their coping skills aren't working," Eggert said
Eggert said even if asking if someone is suicidal is tough, the simple question could be a life-saver.
"People want us to ask about suicide. They are so relieved when we ask them. They are not going to tell us most of the time. They want us to ask about it."
Mary K. Shell Mental Health Center is located at:
2151 College Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93305
24-hour hotline: 800-911-5272
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