Save A Life Today (SALT) is a nonprofit organization in Kern County that helps raise funds for suicide prevention and to assist those bereaved by suicide.
Ellen Eggert, Founder of SALT, organizes the annual Stomp Out Suicide walk at Riverwalk in Bakersfield in order to fundraise money. This year’s event marked the organization’s seventh annual event and was able to raise 40 thousand dollars in funds. The Stomp Out Suicide walk was co-sponsored by the Bakersfield American Indian Health Project (BAIHP), who brought in an additional 10 thousand dollars.
“We are super thankful to be out here and to partner with Save A Life Today, and we are so proud to be part of this walk,” stated Abigail Popejoy-Dodson, a Peer Support Specialist II at BAIHP.
The community gathered to support each other and those who suffered from a loss of a loved one due to suicide. Together, the community did two laps around the lake at Riverwalk. There were booths with different organizations, raffle tickets, and food. T-Shirts were offered for making a donation of 125 dollars. There were many teams and organizations that contributed to the event and there was a total of 91 walkers from Clinica Sierra Vista.
“The big thing is that its national suicide prevention month and those of us who lost loved ones sometimes that doesn’t sit right with us because we say suicide is preventable well what about those of us who lost loved ones,” said Ellen Eggert. “We did everything we could to save them, so what we need to remember is that suicide may or and can be prevented but as a community we need to become suicide aware.”
Eggert went on to explain that just like heart attacks can be prevented so can suicide, and this is a place for healing and knowing that we all have a support system. Eggert emphasized that people shouldn’t blame themselves for not being able to prevent a suicide and we must all let it go, to begin to heal.
Eggert works hand in hand with Kern Behavior Health and Recovery Services and she thanked her day job for being so great in promoting this and getting all their employees involved.