‘Be The Difference’ campaign launches mental health resource website

Assistant Director of Student Health and Wellness/Mental Health Program and chair of The Santa Clarita Valley Suicide Prevention, Postvention and Wellness Committee, Larry Schallert, talks during a discussion among committee members from different agencies at College of the Canyons in Valencia in early 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The SCV Suicide Prevention, Postvention and Wellness Committee, along with the city of Santa Clarita and numerous other organizations, launched the campaign “Be The Difference” with a website and Facebook page aimed to provide easy access to local mental health resources.

Although created with the intent to prevent suicides, the website also offers resources for those who struggle with alcohol or substance abuse, domestic violence and mental illnesses.

Resources for veterans, men, women, youth, college students, older adults and the LGBTQ+ community are also easily accessible through the website.

“We know that mental health is a serious concern of our community but sometimes people do not  know where to turn,” said Larry Schallert, chair of the SCV Suicide Prevention, Postvention and Wellness Committee. “This is a site that is reliable and local, with a trove of information that cannot be found anywhere else.”

Approximately 1 in 4 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in a given year, according to a study done by John Hopkins Medicine.

People can access the website to look for guidance if a loved one is struggling with mental illness. Tips on how to recognize an illness, how to identify the warning signs of suicide and reduce access to methods used for suicide are available.

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death is people ages 15 to 24, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

“One of the first goals of the committee was to bring this website online,” said Schallert.

Family, friends and educators can use the website to read tips on how to support someone who struggles with a mental health illness.

The goal of the website is to get people to speak up and begin a conversation about mental health, which can lead to reducing the stigma around it, according to the committee.

“There is a lot to know about wellness, mental health, stigma and resources, we are hoping that the Be the Difference SCV resource page will be a place where folks can turn to learn how to Be the Differencein the lives of  their friends and loved ones,” Schallert said.

The website offers resources across the state and country along with resources local to the SCV.

To find mental health resources, ways to support someone with a mental illness or to get involved, visit the “Be The Difference” website at http://www.bethedifferencescv.org or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BeTheDifferenceSCV

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