Mental Health Advocate & Creator of the ​Faces of Fortitude​ Movement
GOTHAM ARTISTS COLLECTIVE

M Abeo
Speaking Fee: $10,000 and Below

Travels From: Available Upon Request

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M Abeo At A Glance:

M Abeo (they/he/she) is a Mental Health Advocate, Speaker, Podcast host, Producer and Photographer + Creator of the Faces of Fortitude project. The project began as a series of portraits documenting the healing of those affected by suicide. In just 5 years it has grown into a body of work that consists of TEDx and speaking events, traveling gallery exhibits, and the Behind the Lens Podcast. M travels the country and world talking about the healing they have discovered within their portrait work and their love for plants as a form of self care that can unearth a new method of self-healing.

M Abeo ​(they/he/she)​ is a Mental Health Advocate, Speaker, Podcast host, Producer and Photographer and Creator of the ​Faces of Fortitude​ movement, which began as a series of portraits documenting the healing for those affected by suicide – providing a safe, stigma-free space both virtually and in person for mental health and suicide to be discussed. After losing their brother over a decade ago to suicide, and surviving their own severe attempt as a teen, M started this movement initially for their own healing. The portraits caught fire online and they quickly saw a need for others to have a safe space to share their stories. They now travel the country to capture portraits of those affected by the epidemic in any way (be it loss, attempt or first responders) as a step towards their healing, and to educate people as both a mental health advocate + suicide loss and attempt survivor.

M’s Faces of Fortitude project has grown exponentially, and is now considered by many in the mental health field, as an essential healing space for anyone who has experienced the trauma of suicide. They single handedly manage all the projects under the Faces of Fortitude umbrella; the portrait work, traveling interactive photography exhibits, and a podcast entitled ​Behind the Lens​ – ​A conversation series that provides a platform focusing on the LGBTQ+ & POC communities and their allies, in the areas of activism, politics, mental health, arts & entertainment and community – discussing the human experience in our ever changing world. ​Faces of Fortitude has a rapidly growing ​social media fan base​, followers and fans growing into an organic community of people creating safe spaces for each other across the world. In their spare time, M lives in the heart of the city in Seattle, Washington and is working on a first edition fine art book.

  • UnEarth Your Trauma

    How many of us had to learn to care for ourselves differently during the pandemic quarantine? M shares their personal story regarding how both through their work with the Faces of Fortitude project as well as learning to care for their plants showed them where they were neglecting their own self care. They share seven plant-asmetaphor steps they created to help move through their healing journey in bite-sized and more manageable steps.

    Takeaways:
    • How COVID-19 changed the way we take care of ourselves.
    • How difficult and uncomfortable conversations are a huge part of Suicide Prevention.
    • How we can learn to unpack within your capacity, using plant life as a guide.
  • Faces of Fortitude: Creating safety within trauma and loss

    If the abrupt halt of “hustle culture” during COVID-19 taught us anything, it was that we weren't as focused on our mental health as we should have been. Using the power of plant life as a metaphor and their own vulnerability as a guide, M shows how staying with ourselves and truly listening when things are difficult, can actually work as a healing superfood if we allow it.

    Takeaways:

    •The power of cross narration within story-telling
    •Using discomfort as a Superfood
    •How to recognize how our reactions are connected to our trauma
    •Learning to listen to ourselves to better heal
  • Celebrating the Survivors: Creating safe spaces around suicide

    By sharing the painful story of their brother’s suicide, M examines the way they were able to heal in new ways by connecting with others experiencing similar stories. They remind us of the importance of creating safe places together to discuss stigmatized trauma stories, heal and grow.

    Takeaways:

    •Importance of safety within storytelling
    •How survivors of suicide can use their trauma as fuel to heal through Post Traumatic Growth
    •Optional pop-up portrait gallery featuring images and stories from M’s Faces of Fortitude project
Hi! I just saw you speak and just wanted to thank you. You are so real and refreshing. I really felt connected and engaged without even speaking. I am so happy you are speaking publicly and putting this into the world. Thank you again!

— Direct Employee Feedback from a National Insurance Company

Thank you for your share at the "World Suicide Prevention Day" meeting today. I am inspired by your courage and vulnerability. I will keep the knowledge of the 5 things you gave to me, to provide to those that cross my path

— Direct Employee Feedback from a National Insurance Company

M was able to create a safe space for me to heal. I had to stop thinking big and expansive to heal everyone and look inward. I realized I wasn’t broken. There was a lot of strength I didn’t know was in there.

— Zak Williams (Son of Robin Williams)

Personally, I walked away from M's talk feeling so enriched.  Thanks for being your incredibly authentic self. I’m sure you know that your superpower is how inclusive – and heard -  you make people feel.  Keep at it.  We need more Ms in the world!
 

— Diana Scherr, Regional Development Officer, Colorado Mountain College Foundation

M Abeo is a fierce person, but also a person who emanates warmth and compassion. They're a perfect balance of blunt and to-the-point, yet kind and nurturing.

— SRL Lounge

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