A special blog post from Little Voice’s illustrator Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor.

Did you know that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness? Coming from someone who has suffered from one, I am saddened by this statistic but not surprised.

My own journey with an eating disorder, which you can read about here, left me depleted, emotionally unstable and trapped for years. In 2016, I managed to seek recovery for the first time. Through therapy, coping techniques and various resources, I am proud to say that I have been able to stay on the recovery path. I had to gain much needed weight but more importantly, had to work on the emotional side of things in order to find food freedom, and self-love.

Although I haven’t been on the recovery road for long, I want to use my voice and advocate for those who are still suffering and need the help of a therapist or organization that will ensure they have access to recovery.

Nowadays, my own voice has been expressed through my body positive art – illustrating women of all shapes and sizes. Men and women need more diverse representation and so my art has helped me find the beauty in all bodies. I wanted to share my own initiative in the hopes to raise funds for Hopewell, a local Eating Disorder Support Centre. Going forward, $1.00 from every body positive art print sold will go directly to Hopewell.

Hopewell is eastern Ontario’s only eating disorder support centre that provides knowledge and care to eating disorder sufferers and their families. The organization has preventative programs that promote a positive body image, self-esteem and skills to cope with anxiety and stress. Hopewell’s resources often become a lifeline for recovery patients. With the use of phone, email support, mentoring programs, support groups, expressive art groups, outreach and workshops, Hopewell continues to help individuals and professionals.

On top of this initiative I want to continue to use Little Voice’s positive message as a means to help recovery patients and the people who have found solace in Hopewell’s programs. Little Voice can be a great tool to remind people of all ages to be proud of themselves.

With that in mind, Little Voice will partner with Hopewell for the upcoming Hopewell Marketplace and through the Little Voice’s Movement by donating $5 from every book sale using the coupon code “hopewell”. To learn more about the event, please click here!

See you on February 2nd at the Hopewell Marketplace from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and support a great cause in our community.

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