May 19, 2019 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

4th Annual Santa Monica Sidewalk Talk

By Keldine Hull

Head out to the sidewalk this evening and walk to talk.

Sidewalk Talk is a global listening movement dedicated to providing the public with safe opportunities to be heard. Four years ago, Sidewalk Talk Director and Founder Traci Ruble was inspired to take to the streets and simply listen. Ruble explained, “I’m a psychotherapist, and I work full time as a psychotherapist. A couple things really motivated me to want to put my chair on a sidewalk. One was sort of the hatred and violence going in our society. And two, it seemed like people were struggling. I wasn’t going out there to say, ‘Hey, you’re broken, and I’ve got all the answers.’ It was more saying, ‘What’s going in our society today that we are aggressive and mean?’ People are shooting each other, and we’re being non- inclusive to people that are different from us. There’s so much inequity.”

In May 2015, Ruble along with 27 other volunteers sat out on San Francisco sidewalks in 13 different locations, catching the attention of several press outlets in the process. Ruble continued, “NPR actually mic’d me while I was listening, and one of our talkers was willing to be mic’d. On the air, he publicly came out as being somebody with Acute Bipolar 1 Disorder. He wanted to say, ‘Look, people struggle with stuff that you don’t even know.’ He looked like a regular tech worker; you would never know.”

Following the listening event, several organizations throughout the country expressed interest in doing something similar in their cities. Ruble continued, “Over time, it’s grown to over 50 cities in 12 countries now. And there are 6,000 of us that do this.” Ruble added, “What we’re actually trying to do is generously say, ‘I’m here to hear you,’ with whatever it is going on for you. It could be I just fell in love, or it could be I’m really depressed. What we know fundamentally is that we as a society don’t connect with each other anymore, yet it’s a biological drive that we have as people.”

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Sidewalk Talk will be holding its 4th annual listening event today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Co-sponsored by SimplePractice, 60 volunteers will be stationed in several locations throughout Santa Monica including the Pico Branch Library, Espresso Cielo, Metro- Transit Hub, Philz Coffee, Santa Monica City Hall, Santa Monica Pier, WeWork by AMC, St. John’s Hospital, UCLA Health. Their sole purpose is to listen to anyone who needs to be heard and amplify the mental health of the community around them.

Ruble added, “It’s the disruptive element of being out there on the sidewalk that wakes people up to our need for connection. It also gives people walking by, who maybe didn’t have the courage to sit down, to at least have the courage to talk to somebody later because they watch so many other people being courageous. We’re planting that seed. Look at how many people sit down and talk to other people about what’s going on with them. You can do it too.”

To learn more, including a full list of locations and chapters, visit: www.sidewalk-talk.org

Related Posts

Weight loss for women over 50

February 3, 2019

February 3, 2019

(It looks a little different than it does for 20-and 30-somethings) While 50 may be the new 30, there are...

Santa Monica Sees Nearly 9 Percent Spike in Part 1 Crimes

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud gives crime update. By Sam Catanzaro Over the past month, Santa Monica has experienced a string...

Edify TV Video: Rent and Minimum Wage Changes

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

By Edify TV More money in your pocket? For many in Los Angeles County, perhaps, under new rent control and...

Man Charged for Murdering Mother

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office files charges on Stephen Lloyd Fader. By Staff Writer The Los Angeles County District...

Fighting Fires, Tackling Homelessness, Saving Lives

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

The role of fire departments in 21st-century urban centers.  By Keldine Hull Do firefighters fight fires? Obviously, but most of...

SM City Defends Temporary Protective Status for Immigrants

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Staff Writer Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously at their January 22 meeting to join an amicus brief to...

Edify TV Video: Seasonal Cheese

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Edify TV Did you know cheese can be a seasonal item? Hear from a cheesemaker at the Culver City...

SMPD Mounted Patrol Aids in Arrest

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) carried out an arrest on February 1 with the aid of horses....

MDR Oil Well Explosion Sparks Debate

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

Jan. 18 incident sheds light on the dangers of oil wells in the city. By Tor Marom Discussions on public...

Edify TV Live: Ananda Integrative Medicine

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

By Edify TV In Edify TV Live’s Westside Health Beat, hear from Dr. Reshma Patel, P.A. of Ananda Integrative Medicine...

Santa Monica Student Earns Perfect ACT Score

February 7, 2019

February 7, 2019

Gillian Varnum of Archer School scores a 36 on the ACT.  By Staff Writer  Santa Monica resident Gillian Varnum, a...

Edify TV Live: Westside Crime Update

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

By Edify TV Part 1 crimes are down in some parts of the Westside, but in certain areas, serious crimes...

Edify TV: Cannabis Industry’s Slow Start

February 7, 2019

February 7, 2019

By Edify TV Recreational cannabis has been legal in Los Angeles for a year now, but the industry is not...

The Myth of “Public” Art in Santa Monica

February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

Over the past few years, the Stanton MacDonald Wright murals at the entrance to Santa Monica City Hall have stirred...

State of the City: Climate Change, Communication Among Challenges Facing Santa Monica

February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

Mayor Davis delivers annual address. By Tor Marom This past Wednesday, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce held its annual...