CLEVELAND — Sunda Tan is a mental health advocate whose organization, Self-Love Club, was inspired by her own personal journey.
"After my dad passed, I was going through a period of depression and anxiety, which led me to drop out of school and just to make my mental wellness a priority," she explained. "And then the pandemic happened, which kind of amplified everything. We spent a lot of time alone and I think that's when I learned that everyone kind of needs some self-love. I just learned ways to kind of help with my mental health, and I just wanted to share that with everyone."
Providing stigma-free spaces, the organization offers events, resources, and community for people on their self-love journey.
"Well, first and foremost, I wanted to start in Cleveland. This is my home base. I want to just build a community where we can offer support and focus on loving yourself, and that can include all wellness practices, not just your mental health, but your emotional health and even your physical self. Looking good is part of feeling good," she said.
And Sunda helps others look good as well, through a self-care brand, and a unique clothing line.
"I created shirts so I can pay for school because I want to be a therapist, and then it kind of just grew," Tan explained. "It took me 10 years to finish my bachelor's degree, so I graduated this May and I'm hoping to go back in August to pursue my master's degree in clinical counseling."
But one of the most popular resources of the organization is a phone call away, the Self-Love Club hotline.
"The inspiration behind the hotline was I was having a anxiety attack and I just kind of needed something to ground me. I was like, there needs to be a number, not where we speak to someone, but where we can hear something that kind of grounds us and brings us back to center."
The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"There's a pre-recording on there of someone, or sometimes it's me, sometimes it's someone in the community, sometimes it's an artist," Tan explained.
Sunda's current work acts as a local pilot for what she hopes will become a future national movement, while also celebrating her hometown.
"This year we actually collaborated with Ilthy, a local brand. Our campaign, we will have mental health advocates support the cause to remind people to take care of their mental health, not just for this [Mental Health Awareness] month, but every day."
The Self Love Club Hotline number is: 1-833-LUV-URSF and currently features a conversation with Browns Assistant Coach Callie Brownson.
You can also contact Self Love Club directly here.