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Breaking The Stigma: Mental Health Awareness Month in Kern County

Nationwide, May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. Here in Kern County, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services has events planned all month to help break the stigma.
May Mental Health Awareness Events 2024
Posted at 5:12 AM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 15:52:29-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Events take place all month to honor Mental Health Awareness Month. Kern BHRS says they hope to break the stigma surrounding mental health, and it's okay to ask for help. Resources are on our website.

  • Video shows information about what Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services hopes to achieve this May. They currently treat around 29,000 people in Kern County, and they hope to break the stigma surrounding mental health care.
  • May includes various events honoring mental health awareness, and a full list is available in the carousel of images attached to this article.
  • If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, dial 988 or view Kern BHRS's website to find treatment near you.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Driving down Truxtun, you may notice the administrative building illuminated with green. The color represents mental health awareness, honored throughout the month of May.

Lou Groce, public information officer at Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, shared the importance of recognizing and talking about mental health. He noted that the spectrum of services offered at BHRS is wide.

Bakersfield Neighborhood News Reporter Grace Laverriere interviewing Lou Groce, public information officer at Kern Behavioral Health.
Bakersfield Neighborhood News Reporter Grace Laverriere interviewing Lou Groce, public information officer at Kern Behavioral Health.

The theme this year, he says, is break the stigma–helping people understand mental health…

“And really what we want to do for the community is let people know the services we have available, but also that it’s okay to not be okay at times,” Groce said.

Kern BHRS says they treat 29,908 people in the county. They provide support for all ages, and treatments include support for mental health, substance use and transitional housing.

The most recent Census Bureau population estimates Kern County has just over 916-thousand residents. Comparing the numbers, BHRS treats roughly 3.2% of the county…

Groce notes that younger generations tend to be more open to discussing mental health, and he hopes that the theme “breaking the stigma” will open up conversations about mental health for all ages.

“Everybody has mental health. There’s going to be times when your mental health is great, and there’s going to be times when you’re having some challenges with your mental health," Groce said. "That’s totally normal, and it’s totally okay.”

Groce says just like taking care of physical health by eating well and exercising, it can translate to caring for mental health.

“How do you deal with stress how are you doing self care?”

Included in the May events is a free admission to California Living Museum on Saturday, May 4.

A full list of Mental Health Awareness Month events can be found attached to this article, or on Kern BHRS's social media.


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