September 09, 2021
Mitchall Patel Public Information Officer
Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
KernBHRS to unveil four murals in new community project
Murals will depict messages of hope, mental health awareness
Now more than ever, it is crucial to continue to take steps to reduce the stigma around mental health and substance use that commonly prevents a person from seeking help. Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (KernBHRS) will launch its EverGREEN mural project to help spark the conversation locally about the importance of mental wellness.
“The pandemic has forced many people to isolate from family and other loved ones. It’s very important that people know it’s OK to feel whatever they’re feeling and that resources are available,” said KernBHRS Director Stacy Kuwahara. “We hope that these murals will inspire the community for years to come and provide a safe place to appreciate the artwork, self-reflect on their own wellness needs and connect as a community.”
The project will include the unveiling of four public murals throughout Bakersfield during September as part of the activities that KernBHRS will host for both National Suicide Prevention Month and Recovery Month. All four murals have been designed and installed by local art group Creative Crossing Co-Create.
Creative Crossing, founded by Bakersfield residents Kei Deragon and Sarah Nobles, is a collective of local artists dedicated to painting murals in the alleyways of the Oleander community. Ran solely by volunteers and donations, the group’s mission is to create images that incite positivity and hope while making art accessible and free to all residents.
The mural locations were selected to highlight a specific mental health topic and its importance in our community. The designing process began back in May and the first brush strokes went up in June. Ribbon cutting ceremonies will be held to celebrate each mural’s unveiling. Each event will stream live @KernBHRS on Facebook. Below is the mural locations and ribbon cutting dates:
KernBHRS administration building – September 10 at 5:30 p.m.
This mural highlights the impact of mental health on our diverse community, while promoting inclusivity and hope. Located in the courtyard at the department’s main downtown office, this mural will be a welcome sight for both clients and staff visiting the building.
Bakersfield City School District – September 17 at 10:30 a.m.
On the heels of the COVID pandemic, KernBHRS and Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) are committed to prioritizing the mental health needs of students as they return to the classroom. Located on the steps leading to the district’s auditorium at its Baker Street headquarters, the mural features children from diverse backgrounds engrossed in their favorite book while the spines of many notable children’s books showcase literacy and reading as a coping skill and ladder toward success in life.
Bakersfield Memorial Hospital – September 23 at 3 p.m.
With its central location in the heart of downtown, the mural reflects Bakersfield Memorial Hospital’s prominence and commitment to its patients and the community surrounding its doors. It also encourages everyone to make sure they are taking time to put their own health “front and center.”
California Living Museum – September 30 at 4:30 p.m.
As the largest in the EverGREEN series, this mural highlights mental wellness across all spectrums of life and showcases several of the native California animals that call CALM home. It is located in the zoo’s playground area.
For more information about these events, please visit www.kernbhrs.org/community.
Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (KernBHRS) serves as the “Mental Health Plan” for Kern County and is contracted through the State to be the managed care entity for Medi-Cal beneficiaries in Kern. The department manages all Medi-Cal specialty mental health and substance abuse Medi-Cal services. Through its staff and network of providers, KernBHRS provides needed behavioral health and substance use disorder services to children and adults countywide.