This not-for-profit organization hopes to create a safe space for de-stigmatizing conversations around mental health awareness.
The Ramblr Project is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to de-stigmatizing and platforming individuals who are effected by mental illness. By promoting vulnerability and authenticity, The Ramblr Project hopes to create a safe and accepting community for those suffering.
Based in Hamilton, the organization is run by two friends after they experienced mental health struggles of their own. Dan Pelosini, the project's founder, says that the real leaders of The Ramblr Project are the individuals willing to share their stories.
"I'm the founder of the project, as well as the co-ordinator for day to day stuff," said Pelosini. "Matt Ravida is the other podcast host, as well as helping out with the organization. The main involvement is the individuals that are willing to share their story or knowledge through interviews, blogs, and videos."
Pelosini created The Ramblr Project after embarking on his own mental health journey.
"I had trouble opening up when I was really struggling," said Pelosini. "I felt ashamed and guilty that something was ‘wrong’ with me. I hit a breaking point that forced me to open up. Once I realized the relief and power from sharing my story, I instantly wanted to change how mental health is perceived. I wanted to create a brand that would make people feel connected and comfortable. I wanted to create a brand that made it normal to open up, or cool to open up. In turn, it would help prevent those ‘breaking point moments’ like what I went through so far along the lines of struggle."
The Ramblr Project started with it's blog, the "Rambles". Each writer is an individual with a story, perspective, experience, or knowledge related to the mental health or personal growth realm. Most blogs are around two-thousand words, and can we written anonymously upon request.
Pelosini's idea was met with universal enthusiasm.
"I had great support from my friends and family right out of the gate, and the ball started rolling instantly, if a bit slow at first," said Pelosini.
In addition to blogging, The Ramblr Project founders host a podcast called Mind Sweep.
"The idea for Mind Sweep happened about a year ago between Matt and I," said Pelosini. "Our first episode released late last summer- we’re currently at 34 episodes! I'd say the podcast is a major pillar for sure. It’s a great way to get individuals stories and info out there for others to listen to. And we film them all so we can display that individual in all different content streams."
The Ramblr Project is open to having any sort of guest on Mind Sweep, as long as they have a story to tell.
"Anyone that has something to share within the mental health or personal growth realm," said Pelosini. "We’ve had guests talk in a large range such as everything from eating disorders to concussions to teaching etc. We call it "mental health uncensored" because we have minimal restrictions. We encourage guests to be free and share things as raw as possible."
In addition to the blog and podcast, the organization offers merchandise- like t-shirts, hats, and hoodies, from which the proceeds go towards furthering the project. Pelosini and Ravida are working on expanding The Ramblr Project's reach.
"We're continuing to diversify as far as different guests, and more unique stories," said Pelosini. "That way we have a higher chance of building a connection with individuals that are struggling. As well as starting a YouTube channel, events, and co-branding with other awesome organizations we align with."
Pelosini hopes to continue working within the industry.
"Personally, I want to remain within the personal growth community," said Pelosini. "For the organization, I hope it becomes a media hub for mental health connection, education, and community."
For more information, visit The Ramblr Project's website linked below.