Our Story

Recognizing the Importance of Youth Mental Health

Shine Out! Shout Out! has been developed by we, the Sparling family, along with our friends, as a means to raise awareness for youth mental health and to raise funds for the Just be You Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Support program.

Mental Illness is an issue near and dear not just to our hearts but to so many of our friends and family as well. We know that 1 in 5 children or youth in Ontario or 624,000 suffer from a mental illness, yet only 20% get the help they need. More than 28,000 youth are on the wait-list for programs and services in Ontario, with some waiting more than 2 years to get the help needed.

Letting Youth Reach Their Full Potential

The words Shine Out symbolize to us having our children and anyone suffering with a mental illness step out of the dark recesses of mental illness and into the light; being able to reach their full potential.

Shout Out says it is OK to talk about mental illness, like any other illness; and that by talking we can educate and inform others in order to end the Stigma that is so often connected with mental illness.

No youth should be made to feel alone and in the dark in a crowded room, but that is how a youth with a mental illness can feel.

The Maze of Mental Health Services

Those of us who have been through the maze of mental health services for children and youth have seen the lack of services, programs, and support in many communities for both the person living with the mental illness and their family.

From speaking with youth and families, it was clear that there was a need for a place where youth with mental health problems could go, hang out, have fun, make social connections, and support each other in a recreationally-based program.

[ our hope ]

Our hope through Shine Out! Shout Out! and the programs it supports is to give every youth a reason to smile, to feel connected, to know there is hope and to know that they don’t have to suffer in silence.

Developing a Successful Peer Support Program

Thanks to generous supporters like you, we’ve raised over $400,000. for youth mental health and the Just Be You peer support program. This program for youth started in 2014. It is one that can be put in place in any community, and we are happy to help communities or organizations do that. 

Playing Hockey in Support of Mental Health

SO!SO! and its team of organizers in 2013 held the very first SO!SO! adult recreational hockey tournament to raise awareness and funds for youth mental health. The funds raised helped to start a new grassroots peer support program for youth called Just Be You.

Looking to Help Out?

Are you a student needing your high school volunteer hours? Or someone willing to give a hand to a great cause?

If you want to learn more about Volunteer opportunities, ask us how you can help!