Like most young people, Chloe began to ask big questions about her future in her late teens. She felt pressure to offer something meaningful to the world but didn’t feel she was being her authentic self when trying to follow the status quo. Chloe was preoccupied with ruminating thoughts that made her anxious and depressed - but she kept these to herself, fearing judgment and intimidated by her peers’ polished social media presence.
Things worsened at university. The pressure to succeed, along with a heightened uncertainty about her post-graduation future, weighed so heavily upon her that Chloe would miss classes, preferring to sleep rather than stay awake. She was experiencing a Major Depressive Episode, undiagnosed at the time, and was frustrated with herself for feeling this way.
With Chloe’s mother’s support, she sought help. Finding the right mental healthcare professional to assist her recovery was not easy, but she succeeded after several tries. In therapy, she regained her sense of self-worth and was able to understand, accept and redirect her negative thought patterns. She also came to understand that it was okay to want to fit in with social expectations one day and to want to run away from them the next. Chloe had come to own her true self.
In her final year of university, Chloe connected with a peer who wanted to create a free and accessible service where students could speak with a trained volunteer listener for one hour. This idea resonated with Chloe, as it was exactly what she would have benefited from in the past. The two of them ended up founding Vent Over Tea, an active listening service that takes place in-person at various Montréal cafés.
In 2017, Chloe set out to experience community-based lifestyles abroad. She spent time living off the grid with a sustainable community nestled in the Panamanian jungle and subsequently joined an Ed-Tech startup in Rio de Janeiro that adopted a co-living and co-working model. She learned that her mental health is at its best when she adopts a community-oriented approach to life. Chloe came back to Montreal in 2018 to work for a real estate company, but has recently pivoted to coaching private clients and working as a Director for a wellness tech company, PEARLL. She dedicates her free time to her responsibilities as Chairman of the Board for Vent Over Tea, supporting the organization of low-cost community events and workshops in an effort to build a supportive and engaged local community.
The pandemic has presented a new mental health challenge for Chloe as it has for many others. She continues to work hard to manage her depression with exercise, antidepressants, and (socially distanced) authentic human connection. Chloe’s contact information can be found here.