School of the Arts, Media + Culture SAMC


From SAMC to Mental Health Advocacy:
Lauren Bersaglio's Journey

By the time TWU alum Lauren Bersaglio walked away with her TWU grad Lauren Bersaglio founded Libero NetworkSAMC Media + Communication degree in 2013, she'd already founded her own nonprofit organization.

Founded in 2010, Libero Network provides resources and support for mental health. Their projects include a full online magazine, resources, support groups, videos, and a variety of social media platforms. They also do speaking and events for men and women of all ages, covering topics such as depression, addiction, anxiety, eating disorders, body positivity, and relational health.

We chatted with Lauren about what she does, why she loves it, and how she got where she is today.

What do you love about working for Libero Network?

Wow, I don’t even know where to begin. I really love that I get to use my two favourite activities—writing and speaking—in order to encourage and help others.
But if I had to choose one thing, it would be the people I meet and the stories that are shared with me and the organization as a whole. Every time I’m speaking somewhere, at least one person comes up to me afterwards and shares a piece of their story. The same thing happens when I’m at an event, and even through online connections. Not only is it an honour and an inspiration to have so many stories shared with me, it is a huge encouragement that Libero Network is reaching its main goal—to allow people a safe place to talk about their struggles and darkness in order to start to break down the secrecy and shame that leads to stigma and
judgement, and holds us back from getting the help and support we need. 

What does a typical work day look like?

A typical work day looks like nothing typical! We don’t have offices or anywhere “official” that we do business, and the Libero Network Team is scattered worldwide. This means I spend A LOT of time on my computer. As Editor-in-Chief, I'm responsible for overseeing the entire online magazine, while working hand-in-hand with the Editorial Manager to enable and equip all the contributors and team members (all volunteers!) to carry out their various tasks. As Founder, I am responsible for budgeting, fundraising, networking, project growth and development, and all the other big and small day-to-day activities. Needless to say, I don’t get to do nearly as much writing as I used to, but I still love (mostly) every minute of what I do!

How has your Media + Communication degree equipped you to make a difference in the world?

It is the very foundation that holds up my career path. If it weren’t for my education in Communications (writing, speaking, social media, etc.) I would not be able to do what I am doing today. There is always room for improvement, and I still have lots to learn (don’t we all?) but I know I wouldn’t be here today doing what I am doing if it wasn’t for the things I learned while at TWU—both from an educational standpoint, and a personal one.

Do you have anything you’d like to say to students currently in the Media + Communication program?

Follow your dreams! And don’t let anyone hold you back! Especially if you are going into writing or anything creative or if you are trying to bring about change in any way, there will always be people who disagree and try to stop you—don’t let them hold you back! And don’t hold yourself back either. Think of what matters to you, what you are most passionate about, and what your giftings are, utilize your education to grow and expand in these areas and then go for it! The sky is the limit when you're following what you were created to do. (And don’t fear the red pen—it may be your enemy at first, but you will be thankful for it later.)