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KernBHRS looking to connect the community with mental health and substance abuse resources

Posted at 6:34 AM, Sep 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 14:15:22-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — For anyone struggling with their mental health, trauma, or substance abuse it can be difficult to as for help.

This Saturday, Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services hopes to bring some of those resources out in the open in hopes of educating the community about what’s out there.

“So it really gives the public a chance to connect with each vendor on a personal level," said Lizabeth Lopez, outreach event organizer for KernBHRS. "You get to see them face to face and it’s sometimes a little easier to ask those important questions when you’re in that environment.”

KernBHRS is hosting a drive-thru event to bring mental health and substance abuse resources to the community.

“Maybe people who haven’t had the chance to think about services, because it is a touchy subject and sometimes you don’t know where to start," Lopez said.

While many struggling with these issues may find it hard to ask for help — KernBHRS hopes this event will bring out the courage in them. Lopez said especially during the pandemic, they’ve seen more people recognize the struggles they or loved ones are facing.

The event will bring out dozens of vendors looking to help those in need. Groups like the organization Bikers Against Child Abuse.

“We use the perception of bikers to help them come out of shells and not be afraid," said BACA member "Hoss". "We’ll go with them to court, 24 hours a day they have numbers of members they can call, we’ve sat in front of houses. We just focus our whole focus around the child.”

The organization BACA is a unique group of biker enthusiasts looking to play the role of protector for children facing abuse and difficult court proceedings. Simply by meeting the children and accepting the child into their family — they empower these kids to face their greatest fears unafraid.

“A lot of times they’re terrified to testify but I’ve heard so many times the child looks out and says ‘You tried to scare me, but my friends are scarier than you," Hoss said.

The drive-thru event runs from 4 to 7 p.m. in the KernBHRS administration office parking lot at 2001 28th Street. The first 250 people out here will receive a free admissions ticket to the Kern County Fair.