Punk In Wonderland correspondent, Kerry, got to learn more about Can You Hear Me?, a very special non-profit organization allowing youths to feel safe and speak freely on topics that really matter… especially those dealing with mental health and suicide awareness. Speaking with Founder, Ashley Adler Coro, we get an insight to how the organization has grown, personal goals and stories and how coming together on the Vans Warped Tour has given CYHM a platform for the scene.
Read the full interview below the jump and keep up with all the great things CYHM does by following their Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook socials!
Punk In Wonderland- My name is Kerry, and I’m here today with my blog outlet, Punk In Wonderland. I’m super excited to get to talk and meet with you today. It’s definitely a hot one.
Can You Hear Me?, ASHLEY – Indeed. Why I insisted on the fan in our tent today, haha. But I’m super excited as well to get to chat with you.
PW- This is the first time I’ve ever heard of Can You Hear Me?, and I am so intrigued to know more, can you give us a little background information on the organization and what you guys do?
CYHM – Yeah. We are a non-profit organization, we created a safe online space where teens and young adults can go online and share their stories without fear, without judgment. Nobody can comment on it or anything so there is no bullying allowed. There’s not even a chance.
PW – Wow. That’s incredible. Just rules out cyberbullying all together.
CYHM – Yeah. We’ve done that and we’ve partnered with musicians to spread the word, and they are sharing their stories. We had Patty Walters from As It Is share his story about being straight-edge and the struggles that came along with that, losing friends because of it etc. We are also working with From Ashes To New out on Warped Tour, and it’s been great. It’s like a little community on there and people can go on and see other people’s stories and feel empowered and inspired in their own life.
PW – That’s amazing. I know especially suicide is one of the top killers of young teens so I think that is incredible that you guys did create that space where others can feel safe. And being here on Warped Tour, it’s a huge community… TWLOHA is here, and many other non-profits like Hope For A Day and Heart Support. It’s so cool that you guys are partnering up with this tour for this outreach… and for a great cause. Do you guys think you will be attending next summer?
CYHM – Yeah. I think so. We probably will be doing a few things differently, but this is our first tour so we live and learn.
PW – One can always learn from experience. I also just noticed you guys have a Photo Booth…thats awesome!
CYHM – Yeah. That’s been a fun piece of our tent this summer. Right now, we’ve got a few photos going on, we’ve had signings and meet and greets. But we can also have kids come in and be able to share their stories with us, there is a video option and a mic…so it can be recorded and it can be directly sent to us and uploaded to the site.
PW – That is really cool for it to just be available to the community here at Warped.
CYHM – Yeah! It’s been fun, people seem to enjoy it.
PW – Any future plans for the organization’s out reach throughout the year?
CYHM – Yeah, we are currently looking into doing a school tour in the winter. Maybe even a college tour of sorts and we are always looking to do more music festivals and such. We will just keep going as long as we can… we don’t ever sleep! haha!
PW – That’s great to hear. I think outreach and awareness is one of the biggest ways to get this message across to so many audiences, as mental illness and even suicide does have a huge stigma in the media. Especially with a partnership with music, and being on Warped Tour gives you guys a huge platform. Getting that spotlight on it and being able to talk about it openly is huge.
CYHM – We created this organization because we lost my cousin to suicide about 12 years ago (Read Ashley’s full story here). When that happened, I desperately wanted to do something in my school for suicide prevention, even just like, making bracelets…or something simple to get action and the word out there. But no one would let me do anything because it was such a dark subject.
PW- No one ever wants to talk about it, and that’s part of the problem.
CYHM – Yeah exactly. No one ever wanted to talk about it. And the issue is that it does happen. I know first hand it happens, and we (CYHM) want to come out here and say, your voice matters, what you have to say matters and what you feel matters. Don’t let anyone tell you no. Don’t hide it, we are here to listen. We will listen to you until you’re blue in the face from talking. That is what we strive for and to spread with the organization.
PW- How much support you want to give young teens and adults is amazing. Being a strong advocate working with TWOLHA for years, this is a cause that has been near and dear to my heart for years. I am so happy I got the chance to get to know you guys as an organization today, and even be able to promote Can You Hear Me through the media.
CYHM – Thank you so much!
PW- Any last words you would want to add to our audience and readers?
CYHM – We will be on Warped Tour all summer, come say hi! Or check out our website and learn more about Can You Hear Me and share your own story with us!