Guelph twins help others learn about mental health and wellness

Through their blog Twin Life, sisters Ashley (left) and Breanna Bolliger (right) of Guelph, Ont., have shared how they use hobbies and activities as a way to maintain their mental health. Ashley and Breanna Bolliger

Two sisters from Guelph are helping others manage and learn more about mental health through multiple creative outlets.

Through their blog Twin Life, which they began in university, the Bolliger sisters have shared their journey through hobbies and activities as a way to maintain their mental health.

Breanna Bolliger said it also gives them a chance to connect with other students going through similar experiences.

“A lot of the people that we speak with are students our age,” she said.

When the students find out that they’re connecting, talking and asking questions to the sisters, both of whom are similar in age and have gone through similar experiences, Breanna said it’s like a full circle moment for them.

She said the blog is so much more than just sharing their mental health experiences. She felt the pandemic would be the perfect moment to realize that taking time to pursue mental health endeavors can ease the mind and put you in a place that can be beneficial for your mental and physical health.

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She also said the blog has changed their lives in the sense that they’re having an impact on others’ lives and learning from other people.

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Since launching the blog, Breanna and Ashley Bolliger have also released a children’s book. Ashley said Carrie Can Fly Too is based on several personal experiences.

“The reader goes along this journey of learning about a bird named Carrie, who not only faces struggles in trying to accept herself, but she also faces the challenges of hearing all these negative comments from all the other birds,” Ashley Bolliger said.

She said that since their blog is directed more to young adults in university, they wanted to target a younger audience who could resonate with the book’s themes and ideas of self-confidence, kindness and acceptance.

Breanna added that not only did they want the book to have cute, colourful cartoon images, but also to emphasize the importance of kindness towards others and ourselves.

In addition to the blog and children’s book, Ashley and Breanna run a free mentorship program for young adults.

Ashley said one of the things they’ve become more aware of is how mental health effects everyone.

“When you give that comfort and have that conversation and make it an open experience, then that’s when they tend to open it up and really want to create that dialogue and create that conversation,” she said.

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They speak with a wide variety of university students of different ages and demographics, some who have even started their own mental health journey simply by resonating with the sisters’ stories.

Although they’ve graduated, they’re continue to run the blog and are still speaking to students currently in post-secondary school.

The twins do plan on releasing a second children’s book.

“I feel like doing another book with that audience in mind would be very awesome for ourselves because we just really enjoyed this journey,” Ashley said.

You can head to their book’s website Carrie Can Fly Too where you can purchase a copy, as well as free, downloadable teacher resources and activity sheets.

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