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Suicide prevention march highlights mental health needs

2022 Suicide Prevention March
Posted at 11:09 AM, Oct 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 14:09:38-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — This weekend the annual "Out of the Darkness Walk" for suicide prevention was able to happen in person in our state capitol after a two-year hiatus.

Hundreds of people showed up to walk through downtown Sacramento to raise awareness, break the stigma, and honor the memory of those whose lives were cut short by suicide.

Teacher Lauren Eason says she sees the impacts of mental health in the classroom firsthand, especially since the pandemic. She says she's now fighting for change to incorporate mental health curriculum for all students.

"I'm walking for my daughter who was lost to suicide in 2016. That's what the problem is that we're not addressing - our mental health crisis. This whole situation with COVID has just emphasized it and the need is greater than ever."

Other attendees at the event say they showed up to remind others that they're not alone and they're hopeful that the new 9-8-8 crisis line will make a difference in that effort.

If you're in need of mental health services there is help available here in Kern County. There is a local 24-hour crisis hotline that you can call that provides a safe way to reach out for resources or just to be heard. That number is 800-991-5272.

\And if you are in need of help for any form of substance abuse Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services says you can reach out and call their confidential substance use access line at 866-266-4898.