About Us

“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.” – Thomas Moore

The SPEAK OUT blog was created to enable young people to share their stories of their lived experiences with mental illness, but more broadly, of everyday life.

Everyday life is something that we think we talk a lot about, but in reality, most of us don’t. Not really. We talk about the weather and what we did at school or work that day, but we only talk about the real stuff with a very small group of people. Sometimes not even that. And the reality is that being in your teens and 20s is not just about parties and ‘finding yourself’ and traveling the world and all that good stuff. Young people have real problems that are easily dismissed as ‘growing pains’ by older generations.

At SPEAK OUT we don’t want you to feel alone. We believe that your feelings and problems are valid. We believe that connecting with other people on a deeper, more meaningful level is important. We believe that the best way to learn about social issues is through the real experiences of other people.

The SPEAK OUT blog was created by Chelsea Ricchio as a response to her desire for a place where she could express her feelings and people would actually listen and respond. The blog is based off of the SPEAK OUT events hosted by Active Minds at the University of Toronto, of which she was formerly president. The events began as a series of student speeches about their experiences with mental illnesses, but expanded to include poetry, comedy, musical performances and more. Their events and membership are open to all, so if you are in the Toronto area we encourage you to check them out.

If you are interested in writing for us, find out how to contribute here.