‘Hug like Trevor’ project raises awareness about youth suicide prevention

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FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — A mother from Clovis West, who lost her son to suicide, is taking steps to ensure that no other family experiences the same grief and pain they are still going through.

In just 16 years, Trevor Bernardoni has made a huge difference in many lives.

“Trevor, himself, saved five children from suicide,” Kristine Bernardoni shared.

Unfortunately, Trevor got lost in his own struggles and ended his life. In 2016, Trevor was one of 11 youth suicides in Fresno County.

“Seeing this happen, I didn’t want them to rely on suicide as a coping mechanism. I wanted them to see that people cared about them,” Kristine said.

Two months after her son’s death, Kristine launched the “Hug like Trevor” project. She visits school districts across the valley with a simple yet powerful message to students.

“We come here to say ‘You matter.’ It’s important that this generation starts to be the leader of it so that it can affect many generations below it. That’s the only way to break the stigma,” she said.

Students at Justin Garza High School in northwest Fresno walked into the school Friday morning and read signs held by adults and their peers, letting them know how important and amazing they are.

According to Kristine, children and teens also need to know that there are resources available to them if they are experiencing mental or emotional difficulties.

Justin Garza has his own student club NAMI, or National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“A lot of kids came up to me and signed up and said, ‘Hey, thanks for starting this because I could finally talk about what’s going on in my house and my head and things around school,'” the NAMI president said. Julien Monteil.

The high school principal said it’s important for the Central Unified School District to offer mental health resources on campus because it makes them more accessible to students.

“They have their stress and anxiety related to their age group,” Harmon Dhillon said. “As adults we might not notice it, but for them it’s important to them. We just want to make sure they know they’re important. They’re here and we have a voice. for them, and we will listen for them.”

The ‘Hug Like Trevor’ project wrapped up the school’s See Something, Say Something week, which focused on mental health awareness.

If you or someone you know needs help, ask for help. There are several resources you can use

You can call or text 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or call 1-800-273-“TALK” or 1-800-273-8255.

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