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.

A year was a very ambitious target to write, illustrate and publish a book, but the Little Voice team was determined to make that goal a reality. They were determined to publish their book on World Mental Health Day to bring their journey full circle and support the conversation around mental health.

Today, they are extremely proud to be sharing this new book with all of you but even more grateful that days like World Mental Health Day exist to give conversations like these a platform to be heard.

This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on mental health in the workplace, but more importantly, it serves as a day where we can openly discuss our mental health without fear of judgement or criticism. It is a day where we encourage you to talk about mental health, to share your stories, to listen to others and to simply stand in support of those who may be living with a mental illness.

By standing together, we are not only sending a message to those living with a mental illness but to the rest of society too. We need to stand together if we are to break the stigma that makes conversations like these still challenging to discuss. We hope our book will not only raise awareness, but also serve as a tool that will make conversations on mental health a little bit more easier to have, at any age.