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A boost for mental health services in Kern County

Bakersfield, Calif. – The two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) community and their allies in Kern County will soon get expanded access to mental health, counseling and therapy services through The Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, thanks to a $15,000 donation from Aera Energy.

Aera Energy presented the check during a check presentation ceremony on Tuesday, May 7. The funding will help sustain and expand the Center’s critical mental health services, including individual counseling, group therapy, and other individual and group mental health services for Kern County residents who are often unable to access these resources outside of the Center. In 2023, the Center’s mental health services team provided support to 395 individuals, client advocates worked with 741 individuals, and staff hosted 103 community workshops. The donation from Aera will help the Center increase staffing to keep up with the continuously increasing demand for services.

“Supporting Kern County’s 2SLGBTQIA+ Center isn’t just an act of solidarity; it’s a commitment to the heart and future of our community,” said Jesus Martell Gonzalez, executive director, The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity. “Aera’s support ensures every voice is heard, every identity is celebrated, and no one is left behind.”

Aera is also committed to helping strengthen and enhance the communities where our employees work, live and raise their own families. “Aera understands the importance of the lifesaving resources and services the center provides to the queer community and their allies in Kern County,” said Dylan Chennault, an Aera production engineer who also serves as a board member for the Center. “This generous donation will ensure the Center continues to be a beacon of hope and support for those who need it most, providing yet another example of the care for Kern County that Aera shows through action.”

Media contacts:

Kimberly Ellis
(661) 665-5627
[email protected]

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