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Mental Health Advocate & Creator of the ​Faces of Fortitude​ Movement

Mariangela "M" Abeo

At a glance:

Mariangela Abeo ​(they/them)​ is a Mental Health Advocate, Speaker, Podcast host, Producer and Photographer + Creator of the ​Faces of Fortitude​ movement. The movement began as a project consisting of a series of portraits documenting the healing of those affected by suicide. In just 3 years it has grown into a movement that consists of TEDx and other public speaking events, traveling gallery exhibits, the Face to Faces Podcast, portrait sessions and two upcoming books.

Mariangela Abeo ​(they/them)​ is a Mental Health Advocate, Speaker, Podcast host, Producer and Photographer + 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, Mariangela 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.

In September 2019 Mariangela delivered an emotional and poignant TEDx speech entitled“Celebrate the Survivor: Creating a Safe Space around Suicide”​, in Ohio and her second TEDx has been confirmed for April 2021 at the acclaimed Ivy League – Dartmouth College. They currently present Keynote and Signature Talks about a range of topics within the suicide and mental health arena, such as ​Safe Spaces for Celebrating Survivors, Words Policing around Trauma in Society, How Post Traumatic Growth Can Help You Find your Purpose, and The Power of Grass Roots Cross Narration,​ with accompanying pop-up image galleries.

In almost ​3 years​ Mariangela’s 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 in the wake of COVID19 a podcast entitled ​Face to Faces​ – ​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 with poetry about depression and photographer’s notes as well as a memoir entitled The House of M.

  • Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

  • Creating Community

  • Inclusive Wellness & Empowerment

  • Discovering Resilience & Purpose from Trauma

  • Interactive Photography exhibits

  • Building Resilience

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