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Be Mindful: Children’s Mental Health acceptance day held at El Paso Zoo

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Emergence Health Network hosted a Children's mental health acceptance day with a community resource fair at the El Paso Zoo.

"It's never too soon. I think we really have to start talking to our kids when they're able to tell us how they're feeling," said Kristi Daugherty, CEO of Emergence Health Network.

"It'll be easier to have that conversation because the parents will be aware as well as the kids," said Mary Lou Ortega, a mother.

"Well, the zoo is a fun, safe place for families to come and spend time together. So incorporating that into talking about mental well-being, we felt like it was the best place," said Daugherty.

The first 150 kids were given free entry into the zoo. informational booths with community resources were located throughout.

"We really hope people take away again just the idea to talk about it. It's okay to talk about it. And let's just, you know, start the conversation. Make sure kids feel comfortable talking about when they're having a rough day or, you know, maybe feeling a little anxious. You know, it's really important to make sure kids have a safe space to talk," said Daugherty.

"I think it's very important because of the way we were raised, we were raised to have mental readiness. And so for you to be making that publicly known, especially show me teaching the kids, I think it's helping a lot because it helps the kids open up more," Katherine Juarez, a mother.

"I think that every parent should start the conversation early. And like, I'm stressed because, you know, a lot of times, you know, they have stress at school, anxiety and so bullying, you know, is a big thing. So getting that conversation started with your children to let them know that it's okay and be open about it," Ortega.

According to Emergence Health Network suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the 2nd leading cause among young adults. Emergence Health Network says early identification, treatment, and events just like this one can make a difference.

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