(WIVB) — Saving Teens and Mental Health Advocates of Western New York hosted a fundraiser and awareness event to help kids facing mental health challenges.

At the event, parents and advocates shared their stories on how local services have helped them.

The event’s organizers say the impacts of the pandemic likely intensified the struggles kids with mental health challenges already faced.

“Kids are at such a vulnerable phase of their lives and we feel like the more impact we can have on them now to try to help them realize what coping skills are and to give them the confidence to reach out and ask for help, the healthier they’re going to be in the long run,” said Event Coordinator Sandy Forrestel.

The money raised at the event will go to the Mental Health Advocates of Western New York to bring more youth peer advocates into schools and hospitalized settings.

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If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, help is available now. Erie County’s Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day: 716-834-3131. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24 hours a day: Simply call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org. For more information, visit CrisisServices.org.

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