4th annual Stomp Out Suicide walk raises awareness of suicide in Kern

“We don’t get over it but we get through it,” said Ellen Eggert, founder and president of Save A Life Today.


Katalina Quintanilla

Families ready to begin the “Stomp Out Suicide” walk.

Katalina Quintanilla, Reporter

Save a Life Today (SALT) hosted their 4th Annual “Stomp Out Suicide” for suicide awareness on Sept. 8.

SALT is a non-profit organization in Kern County that provides support families or individuals that lost a loved one by suicide. Their focus is on educating the community about suicide awareness.

Katalina Quintanilla
A quilt being made by SALT with pictures of victims of suicide.

Representatives attended and provided information for families such as Veterans Affairs, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, and The Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity.

Ellen Eggert, founder and president of SALT, started the ceremony with a moment of silence with the song “Something You Get Through” by Willie Nelson. Eggert strives to be supporting hands to people that need condolences or resources.

“We don’t get over it but we get through it,” said Eggert. She encouraged families to speak up and spread the word of suicide using that as a tool to cope and help others going through the same situation.

Katalina Quintanilla
Mayor Karen Gogh and President/Founder of SALT Ellen Eggert posing with the proclamation.

Jeff Platt, a KBAK Eyewitness reporter, was the master of ceremony. He shared his personal experience of loss and how he coped with the grieving process. Platt went on to explain how he can sympathize with suicide victims’ families and the confusion they experience.

“A lot of us felt completely alone, we didn’t know what we had done or could’ve done,” Platt continues, “Not a lot of people talk about it, that stigma is still there.”

Platt was overwhelmed by how the community came together to show support and show the families that they want to help. Many organizations around the community raised money for SALT and showed their enthusiasm at the event. The grocery chain, Foods Co, was there as part of Culture Counsel. They had team members from three different locations to walk for the cause.

Katalina Quintanilla
Teresa Palacios and her family representing son Blazz Palacios as “Blazz’s Defender.”

Mayor Karen Goh presented Eggert with an official proclamation that makes Sept. 8, 2018, A Stomp Out Suicide Walk Day. The proclamation recognized the effort of local citizens to offer hope and reassurance and provide a safe harbor for those that have lingering thoughts of suicide.

“The tragedy [is what] brings us together, but the joy also of having others that can stand by us,” said Mayor Goh.