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Local man battling PTSD says skatepark should be reopened

Sidewinder Skatepark
Located in El Centro, California.

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Maintaining mental health has been a rising issue since the coronavirus pandemic began.

For one Imperial Valley local, the closure of his local skatepark has affected his mental health as he battles post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Blake Corfman was an Army Specialist from 2010-2014. He deployed to Afghanistan for six months and has been fighting a silent battle with PTSD ever since.

He was able to escape the battle's in his mind by heading over to the Sidewinder skatepark where he spent the majority of his time.

"There's not much here. At all. It's extremely hot, and the only thing I have to look forward to is the skatepark. It's a tragedy it's locked."

The skatepark's gates were locked by the city in an attempt to help stop the spread of coronavirus back in March.

Parks were also closed down during this time. Since then, Corfman says parts of Bucklin Park have been reopened to the public.

Corfman says he has reached out to various city officials requesting the reopening of the skatepark. He argues that skateboarding doesn't involve any physical contact with others, and it would be easy to social distance from one another. However, he says he has yet to hear back from anyone.

Corfman continues to fight for a reopening. Until then, Corfman looks to other outlets to help cope with his PTSD.

Although he says it isn't ideal, he drives out of town to other skateparks that are open. Other times he goes camping.

Corfman says it's taking a toll on him having to pay for gas and figure out who can watch his dog when he's visiting other skateparks for the day.

He hopes they can open up soon amidst the pandemic.

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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez began at KYMA as a Digital Content Producer in June 2019, and is now a multimedia journalist.

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