Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Walk for Mental Health, Sept. 10

Mental Health is so important, yet can be so scary. There is no way around that.

Just imagine:  The idea of being in extreme fear over otherwise menial tasks. An inability to eat regularly to maintain a look. A perpetual state of numbing emptiness. Even going as far as to intentionally cause your own death. It’s not a topic many people are comfortable talking about.

Because they are afraid, many people who struggle with these issues find themselves alone and without support. 

According to a study from 2018-20 by KidsData, the youth suicide rate in Kern County is 11.6 per 100,000 youth. For comparison, California as a whole has a rate of 8.7 per 100,000. From the Kern County Public Health Department’s CDRT Annual Report of 2018, 9% of childhood death is caused by suicide.

The Interact Clubs of Valley Oaks Charter High School and Tehachapi High School want to help bring these statistics down. Our first step is to bring the community’s attention to this problem. On Sept. 10, VOCHS and THS Interact Clubs will be hosting a Mental Health Awareness Walk. We will meet at West Park, 490 W. D St., at 10 a.m. and walk to the Coy Burnett Stadium. We will have a water break there, and then walk back to West Park to celebrate and share pizza. We invite everyone to join us as we raise awareness for mental health.

Finally, if you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health, please reach out to someone you can trust. If you can speak to a therapist or other healthcare provider, that would be ideal. However, if you are unable to, close family, friends and teachers can also help you. There are also hotlines you can talk to, such as the Suicide Hotline, by dialing 988.

Wishing everyone the best in this coming year of school.  Together we can help raise awareness of the importance of good mental health.

Nick Aldava is president of the Interact Club at Valley Oaks Charter High School.