John Pitera of Lyndhurst believes everyone has a story that's meant to be told.
For him, that story is his battle with depression and his weight as a teenager, which resulted in feelings of loneliness and isolation.
At the time, he had nowhere to share his struggles. Things turned around for Pitera, but the Montclair State University sophomore knows that's not the case for everyone.
That's why Pitera and his business partner Chris Santos formerly of Ramsey have are launching a new online platform called "Storytellers" set to go live in Spring 2019, aimed at connecting people feeling alone, anxious or hopeless.
"When we go through life we’re faced with many challenges," Pitera, 20, wrote on the Storytellers website. "What we need to remember is that we’re never alone.
"We all have stories meant to be told."
Storytellers users will submit their "stories" to the site for review by mental health professionals. They will then be placed into different online communities classified by people struggling with similar issues.
The goal, Pitera explained, is to foster a sense of togetherness and conversation among users.
"Doing so, members can tell their story and hear from others who can relate to what they're going through," he said.
"My hopes for this is to change the way that people see those around them."
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