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Take Action for Mental Health Walk Eureka aims to raise awareness and end stigma

Take Action for Mental Health Walk in Eureka.
Take Action for Mental Health Walk in Eureka.
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On Tuesday morning, dozens of people gathered for the annual Take Action for Mental Health Walk Eureka.

"It's just an activity that we do to promote, you know, mental health awareness in our community, knowing that mental health impacts everybody, regardless of race, creed, income level," said Behavioral Health Deputy Branch Director Jack Breazeal.

This event, hosted by Humboldt County's Department of Health and Human Services has been taking place in the community for nearly 10 years. Participants started in front of the Hope Center on H Street, before walking to the Humboldt County Courthouse and back.

Stacey Farmer works with the county's transition-age youth program and said it's important for people to address the topic locally.

"I feel as a community, we are all impacted because we see it on a daily basis, whether going to work or from work and then just behind the scenes, that there are people in their homes that might be suffering with mental illness that don't know," Farmer said.

Among the participants were DHHS Health Officer Candy Stockton and Eureka city mayor Kim Bergel. While work has continued on tackling mental health, some at the walk said there are still many challenges to overcome.

"The biggest challenge is going to be providers, right, people who actually provide services to treat mental health, whether that's clinicians, or psychiatry or nursing, those tend to be really difficult positions to recruit for and to maintain in the community," Brazeal said.

Once at the county courthouse, many participants also shared their personal experiences with mental health.

In addition to the walk, DHHS will also be holding a Wellness and Connection barbecue on Friday, May 19. It will take place at the Jefferson Center Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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