Shop our newest book The Lighthouse and support the National Canadian Mental Health Association!
"Everyone has a voice deep down inside them, a voice that says “shine”.
Some have loud voices, while some have quiet ones. Some people’s voice
is so quiet they never get to hear it, while those that do may choose not to
listen. Unfortunately, only a few decide to act on this voice, the stars
who influence others to listen themselves."Find your Little Voice
Did you know refugees have been part of Canada’s cultural mosaic since before Confederation? Consecutive waves of refugees have helped build modern Canada, starting with the Quakers and Black Loyalists that fled the American Revolution in the 1770s, followed by Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian, Chilean, Bengali, Indochinese, Kosovar, Karen, Bhutanese, Iraqi and, most recently, Syrian refugees, among others.
In 2016, approximately 46,000 refugees arrived in Canada in search for a better life. According to Immigrant, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, many refugees will need more support in areas such as housing, employment, language training, and mental health/well-being.
Little Voice is proud to support ProjectBE and our newest movement that will support refugee resettlement!
The ProjectBE Movement is supporting refugee settlement efforts through three focus areas:
Employment and professional development
Vulnerable groups: youth, women, the elderly and LGBTQ+ refugees
A portion of each book sale using the coupon code “projectbe” will be donated to ProjectBE’s fundraising efforts!
By using the coupon code “projectbe” at checkout, Little Voice will donate $5 from each book sale to ProjectBE’s crowdfunding campaign. In addition, for those readers located in the National Capital Region, free pick-up is available upon request – please contact Little Voice for more information.
As the excitement settles and the book signings end, the official launch of The Lighthouse is behind us, and our favourite part of the publishing process is about to begin.
A lot of people often ask us: What is your favourite part of the publishing process? While we love to hold our book in hand for the very first time, the best part of publishing a new book is often hearing from others who get to read it.
The reaction, feedback, and support from our readers is priceless!
This past week, we got to hear from those that pre-ordered our book, and even those that read The Lighthouse in store at our book signings. We met people from all across Ottawa who travelled to meet us because they believed in the message we are trying to share.
It was an incredible feeling knowing that others could relate to the situations found in our book.
Today is not only World Mental Health Day, but the official launch of our new book The Lighthouse.
When we set out to create our newest book, we thought long and hard about not only the months of work ahead, but the day in which we hoped to release it to the world. It was October 2016, and Little Voice’s author Amanda Bernardo had just come back from attending One Young World. After nearly two years of being asked when the next Little Voice Book would be published, Amanda finally had her answer.
At One Young World, Amanda made a pledge to herself, a pledge to create a book that would support the conversation around mental health. It was not only a pledge to herself, but also a pledge to her business partner Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor. For many months, the two had discussed creating a new book. While the drive to do so was there, the Little Voice team was just bouncing back from an emotional whirlwind that required them both to focus on their own mental health. These personal journeys in many ways equipped them with the empathy and creativity needed to create The Lighthouse. And so, they channelled their inner pain, their outward struggle, and the drive to make a difference in their community to produce the very book you can now hold in your hands today.
Today is the last day to preorder your copy of The Lighthouse and the first day I get to hold our books in hand!
It always amazes me how after a year of hard work and preparation, this moment of holding our book for the very first time can sum it all up. It’s the moment where our little voices go: we did it!
Behind the scenes, we have been working day and night to bring this book to life. We’ve reached out to mental health organizations and advocates to ensure our message was sustainable; we’ve spent hours planning our marketing efforts and writing articles to create awareness; we’ve even opened up about our challenges with mental health to remind you that we all have experienced moments like the ones depicted in our book, or at least know someone who has. And we’re still continuing to try and do so much more.
A lot of people wonder why we do it. Samantha and I, as many of you know, both work full-time and juggle Little Voice Books at the side of our desks. We don’t profit from our efforts, and we give back almost all the proceeds from our books to our community. It raises a lot of eyebrows when we tell people how much work we put into this social enterprise and how much of our proceeds we give to others instead of ourselves.
For Samantha and I, it’s not about the extra dollar in our pocket; it’s about using the talents we’ve been given to make a difference. It’s about raising awareness for causes and initiatives, and conversations that may sometimes be challenging to discuss. It’s about reminding the six year old that they can become anything they want to be so long as they believe in themselves. Or even the 24 year old who is struggling to find their path. It’s about seeing our donations make a difference in our communities and across Canada, seeing how your support has enabled us to do much more than publish a children’s book, but also fund a program or service that will go a long way in making a difference in many more lives.
There are truly some things in the world that money can’t buy, and the feeling of all of the above is something that is worth far more than any dollar could provide. It’s a lasting legacy of good, of kindness, of hope and inspiration. It’s something we need a lot more of in the world right now and if our tiny books can achieve that, then to us, it is totally worth it.
You can still preorder your book by visiting http://www.littlevoicebooks.com. Orders will be shipped on October 10, 2017. Following our official launch on World Mental Health Day, books will be available online and at a number of local Ottawa Chapters as of the October 14th weekend.
As part of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), we wanted to continue to answer the Campaign’s call to action to share our stories in support of mental health!
On today’s blog, Little Voice’s illustrator Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor opens up and shares her own personal story:
I have always been a sensitive and anxious kid. From time to time, life would challenge me and this truth would be easily apparent. From public speaking, going to a new school, or even dealing with a death in the family, I often struggled silently to cope with my emotions. This struggle eventually transformed into a difficult journey with my own body image and food.
This year’s MIAW encourages Canadians to join the conversation about mental illness online using the hashtag #miaw17. As mental illness affects more than six million people across the country, the campaign encourages Canadians to share personal stories and engage in a discussion regarding the need for increased access to mental health services for all Canadians.
As part of MIAW, Little Voice’s author wanted to share her story with anxiety.
After months in development, Little Voice is extremely excited to launch the preorder for our upcoming children’s book The Lighthouse!
The Lighthouse is a story that aims to educate, support, and remind all those affected by mental illness that they are not alone. Through the power of literature and illustration, this open, honest and brave story supports all those who may be suffering in silence by breaking the very stigma that holds them hostage. Developed as a tool by mental health advocates Amanda Bernardo and Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor, The Lighthouse teaches children, and adults alike, to understand, listen and talk about mental health.
The story serves as a symbolic reminder of the support, strength and hope that is represented by the lighthouse, and aims to teach its readers to become a beacon of light in their own communities.
Preorder your copy and be the first to receive The Lighthouse this October in anticipation of our official launch on World Mental Health Day!
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
The Day provides an opportunity for all those working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
All preordered copies of The Lighthouse will include a free bookmark and be will be signed by the Little Voice team. Deliveries will occur in advance of our official launch.
Don’t forget that a portion of every book sale will also be donated in support of the National Canadian Mental Health Association through our new Be The Light Campaign!
With Canada 150 just around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to say
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
We are so proud to be an all Canadian children’s book – written, illustrated and printed right here in the country we call home.
To us, being Canadian means more than just identifying with the country we live in; it’s a symbol of who we are and who we hope our children will become. Canadians are humble, kind, respectful, loving and diverse, we are a melting pot of so many amazing attributes of humanity that we can’t help but smile when we say: I am Canadian.
Here at Little Voice, we are so proud to be Canadian and we can’t wait to share our new story The Lighthouse with all of you as our #Canada150 gift to you! Stay tuned!
With the launch of the Lighthouse only four months away, we wanted to share a first glimpse at our newest book!
You heard right! Little Voice’s newest book The Lighthouse is targeting a release date for this October! Can you guess why? On October 10, 2017, the world will be raising awareness for mental health as part of World Mental Health Day and we want to join in!
As many of you know, The Lighthouse is a story that will support children and adults alike in raising awareness for mental health, but it is also a story we hope will shine the light on the stories, situations, and people that often struggle alone in silence. Where one reader can relate to the feelings shared in our book, we hope the other will learn to recognize the signs of a friend in need and in turn, become the lighthouse that reminds them that they are not alone.
With our countdown officially on for the launch of The Lighthouse we are excited to share a sneak peek of our newest characters and the story that we are so proud to share with all of our readers.
Stay tuned for the launch of our pre-order this upcoming August and be the first to reserve your copy! This journey has already transformed the way the Little Voice team thinks, talks, and reacts to mental health … we hope it will have the same powerful impact on you.