What is a Role Model? Not too long ago, we decided that it wasn't enough to cast fashion models based on comp cards and height. We wanted to showcase the stories of real people, who are brave enough to wear their label. Sarah Fisher is one of those Role Models. Not only is she an actress, singer/songwriter and model - she is also a Kid's Help Phone ambassador and everyday Role Model. Here's her story:
WYL: A lot of people might be familiar with your face from Degrassi, but can you tell us a bit more about you?
Sarah: I am 22 years old and I was born in Ottawa, Ontario. I am an actress, model and singer/songwriter. I have been Kids Help Phone’s celebrity ambassador for three years now and I find it so empowering to work with such wonderful people who support youth who are experiencing bullying or abuse at home. I am also an ambassador for Youth Day Global, an incredible movement that recognizes and celebrates talented young artists, singers, and dancers. I have been extremely fortunate to be welcomed into the Wear Your Label family this past year and walked in New York Fashion Week for their first show! I am passionate about what I do, and thankful for everything I have been privileged enough to experience already. I support young people because I believe they are brilliant and I support people who have experienced mental illness because I believe they need to be supported and heard.
WYL: What's your connection to mental health? Why is it important for you to speak out?
Sarah: The stigma that surrounds mental illness has caused people to believe that talking to someone is a bad thing. No one wants to say they are “getting help”. I have had a few friends come to me who have experienced some form of mental illness. The scary thing is while I can imagine how difficult these situations are to talk about, if we don’t talk about them how do we make them stop? I experienced bullying when I was younger and it is incredible how strong words can be and how someone cannot have any idea how they have affected you. There is a beautiful thing about speaking out though; you realize there are so many people who have been through the same thing. Everyone has a story. Be a listener, be a supporter and be a friend.
WYL: What do you do when faced with a struggle?
Sarah: While I am so fortunate to have an amazing family and friends, my strongest support system has always been music. It’s the best way for me to let go of any stress I’m feeling. The second I’m feeling unhappy in any way I run to my piano and start writing. Some of my best work was written in these moments. I believe one of the most powerful ways you can turn your struggle into strength is by putting that energy into what you love. Find your passion in life and let that passion guide you to your happy place. Whether it’s sports, music, art etc.
WYL: Why is ending the stigma important to you?
Sarah: Part of ending the stigma that surrounds mental illness is being a part of sending that message. Mental illness seems to have the impression that it is not an illness; it is in fact a choice. I think that is extremely unfair. I attended a Bell Let’s Talk Event last year and I will never forget what one of the speakers said; someone who has cancer will say “I have cancer” whereas someone with mental illness will say “I am depressed”. I kept repeating this in my head and realized how important the words we choose are. Your illness does not define you. The more people who believe those who are mentally ill do not need help the more abuse we’re allowing to continue. While I have not experienced mental illness myself, to start this movement we have to start with the people who agree with the importance of erasing the stigma and the importance of giving those with mental illness the right tools and support they need in order to heal. Be a part of spreading the word!
XO – Sarah Fisher
Photos by Allie Beckwith