What are you free from?
Did you know “Libero” means “Free”? Libero started with a story shared by our Founder Lauren Bersaglio back in 2010. We believe when we share our stories we can end stigma, celebrate freedom, and let others know they aren’t alone.
We do not believe freedom is found only through “full recovery” or the absence of mental health struggles. We believe Freedom is found when we break through the walls of secrecy and shame that kept us trapped so we can champion our own mental health, own our stories, and begin to thrive!
We would love to have you share your story and celebrate freedom with the rest of the Libero community!
Submitting Your Story
Here at Libero our goal is to share stories in an honest, responsible and respectable way. Below are our editorial guidelines and terms that help us achieve this goal. These guidelines are not meant to discourage you, but to encourage you to share your story in a way that will benefit both you and our readers and maintain Libero as a safe space.
If you’re concerned your story wouldn’t comply with a guideline, don’t turn away; please contact us and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have and help you along the way!
When submitting a story, please consider the following guidelines:
- Suggested word count: 500-1,000 words (maximum word count: 1,500 words)
- Consider your intention when sharing. Our “Free From” project is about celebrating our own mental progress and letting others know they aren’t alone. When sharing your story, please be mindful of your intention and focus on celebration and encouragement. While we support honest sharing and believe it can be powerful to offer comparison of where we’ve been in the past and where we are today, please avoid using this space only as a means to “vent” negative feelings or circumstances.
- Please don’t discredit resources that may be beneficial to others. Everyone is different, and what does not work for you may still work for them (and vice versa). For this reason, we ask that you avoid any statements that may discredit (implicitly or explicitly) resources or professional help that could be beneficial to others (i.e. talk therapy, treatment approaches, medication, etc.)
- Note: sharing that something didn’t work for you is not a problem, but please make it clear you are sharing your own individual experience and avoid statements (implicit or explicit) or assumptions that (1) discredit any form of treatment or type of professional AND/OR (2) imply that the treatment/professional will not benefit (or will harm) others.
- Think about the privacy of anyone mentioned in your story and be respectful when sharing details of others’ lives.
- Please avoid comparing circumstances in a way that suggests that another person’s circumstances are better or worse than your own.
- Use respectful language. Please avoid any language that may be offensive to others (such as profanity).
- Please provide sources for any facts stated.
- Please avoid language or details that may be triggering to others. Describing behaviours or events in general terms can be helpful in painting a picture of your story; however, going into specific detail may be triggering to others.
- This may include specific numbers related to weight loss or weight gain; details about self-harming behaviours; details and specifics about eating disorder behaviours (i.e. it is okay to mention purging, but please do not go into detail about the process used); specifics about activities or events that may cause distress to or trigger others (such as suicidal attempts or situations of abuse).
- Weight/Calorie Numbers: It is asked that you avoid sharing specific numbers related to weight or calories. Any numbers that are included, will be omitted upon published (i.e. “10 lbs” will be changed to “____lbs”)
- Please reach out to an editor if you’re concerned with how your story or parts of your story will be perceived. We’d be happy to help!
To submit your story, you must agree to these terms. There is a checkbox in the submission form below that requires you to give your consent.
- You must be over 18 to submit to our site. (*see note below)
- Your submission must be an original piece that has not and will not be published elsewhere (Because these stories are part of Libero’s “Free From” Project, we require that all “Free From” stories only be submitted to and published on our site and not submitted to other sites, blogs, or publishing platforms such as Medium.)
- The facts in your submission must be true. You will not impersonate someone else or adopt someone else’s story or experiences and share them as if they were your own.
- By submitting, you are granting us the right to publish your story across our site, social media, in print, and on other sister and third-party sites indefinitely. (You will always be credited for your work under your first name in accordance with term #6(1) below.)
- Once your story is published on our site, it cannot be taken down or anonymized. This is because setting authors to “anonymous” goes against the mission of our project — we cannot encourage others to be open and honest about their story and simultaneously choose to hide behind our own.
- Note that your story will only be published under your first name (i.e. “John: Free from Shame”) with no other contact information. This allows all stories to be semi-anonymous as they could be attributed to anyone with the same name as you.
- Your photo may be removed upon request in the future, though we cannot remove it from past social media posts (i.e. Instagram) or third-party platforms we do not control.
- Once your story has been published, we encourage you to share the link (which we will send you) across your own social media and with family and friends — be proud of what you’ve accomplished and help spread the word about Libero! Please do not cross-publish your story in full on any other site or blog (in accordance with term #2 above).