From the outside, my life looked perfect. I was in college, playing tennis in the NCAA, surrounded by friends, coaches and peers. I’d checked all the right boxes and yet I was struggling with depression and anxiety. I knew something was wrong, but I stayed silent. For years I struggled alone. I was sure that no one would understand. I lived in a perpetual state of fear; fear of judgment, fear of alienation and fear that I was permanently damaged. I thought asking for help would make me seem weak, but it was only through reaching out that I began to recover. My struggles were a part of me, but they didn’t defy me. I realized that recovery was possible, and that through a willingness to be vulnerable there was a way through. Today, I feel like I’ve been given a second chance. I’m living life in a way I never thought possible. Having come through the other side I feel compelled to carry the message forward. I want to end the shame and stigma that causes people to suffer in silence. It’s my hope that through advocacy, education and outreach we can start a conversation, create a platform and ultimately shine a light on mental health.
The battle against mental health is one in which many young people struggle. Currently, 1 in 3 youth from all walks of life suffer from mental health related issues. Two out of three suffer in silence due to fear of rejection and alienation. It’s a universal problem.
At STLO, we want to shift the paradigm and redirect the conversation from reducing stigma to acceptance. We want to stop the negative attitudes that people living with mental health issues face. By wearing STLO, you are engaging in the change that is needed to overcome limiting beliefs and prejudices.
Our first partnership is with Mindfulness Without Borders! A portion of every purchase from our current collection will go toward training and educational programming for health professionals and educators working to advance mental health in youth.