Sisters in Mental Illness: Shaley Hoogendoorn Talks to Jessica Birak of Mint & Birch


[ Trigger Warning: Mention of abuse, as well as an eating disorder.]

This month, Shaley Hoogendoorn talks to Jessica Birak, founder of the jewelry company Mint & Birch, who is also a vulnerable and honest advocate for mental health. They talk about topics related to anxiety, depression, postpartum, hypochondria, eating disorders and healing from childhood trauma. Together they smash the stigmas around mental illness and medication. Mostly Shaley and Jessica invite you not only into their minds, but into their hearts.

When asked how friends can support someone who is struggling, Jessica says: “Sometimes it’s not about what you say to people, it’s how you make them feel in that very moment … Sometimes the loudest ‘I love you’ is not said with words.”

More wise words from Jessica: “We are so not alone in this. The more we listen to each other’s stories, the more we share our own stories, the more brave we become in taking care of ourselves.”

About Jessica:

Jessica is a mama of four and the founder of Mint & Birch. She creates original, hand-stamped jewellery that celebrate stories—whether of sorrow, joy, heartbreak, triumph or grief. Jessica is an advocate for mental health and uses her business platform to journal and connect with other women who also struggle with mental health. She believes everyone deserves to cherish, quench and enjoy every moment life has to offer. She is inspired and encouraged by the magical connections that humans can create together. Follow her on Instagram @mintandbirch or Facebook at Mint & Birch.


If you’d like to listen to the audio only, you can do so through Soundcloud right here.



One in four people struggle with a mental health disorder in our world. Sisters in Mental Illness is a vlog series where Shaley Hoogendoorn has real conversations with brave SheLovelys who are willing to share their experience of living with a mental illness. We will share ALL the stories—stories of sadness, madness, shame and struggle. The more we talk about hard things like mental health, the better we can understand and walk with and alongside our Sisters in Mental Illness. We can remind each other that our stories are not over yet. Together we can smash the stigma and stereotypes of mental illness, ONE story at a time.

Email subscribers, please click through to the website to watch the video.

If you are struggling with any mental health issues, we hope you will reach out and seek professional help.

Photo credit: Photo of Shaley by @allyfotografymediaco.