Photographer, Mental Health Advocate & Founder of We All Believe In You
Episode 31: Beyond The Words of Mental Illness
Blake Loates’ greatest passion is to educate and speak about mental health and suicide prevention. She openly shares her own struggles to help others know they are not alone, there is help, and there is beauty in resilience and connection. She joins The Inner Circle to share her own internal battles with depression, and how she used her own artistic talent to capture other people with mental illness and serve her community as a leader.
What You’ll Hear in This Episode:
● The strength and beauty Blake sees in working with people with a mental illness.
● More about Blake’s personal struggle with depression, anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder.
● Why we must challenge the stigma and shed light on the truth in mental illness.
● Depression is a very real and often very physical disease, with many debilitating symptoms and physiological changes.
● The importance of talking about depression before it gets too late.
● The trip to Nepal that changed Blake’s life forever, and the opportunity it created for her to realize her passion and skill for photography.
● That just loving something immensely is not enough to fully cure mental illness.
● Blake’s experience as a psychiatric nurse, and the fundamental knowledge of mental illness and suicide prevention it gave her.
● The jump Blake made to pursue photography full time, and how dreams never fully look the same in real life as they do in our minds.
● More about We all Believe In You — a peer support community to offer people with mental health issues support and connection.
● The impact that Robin Williams’ death had on her own decision to dive in and fully commit to photography in order to show just how isolating mental illness can be.
● What it felt like for Blake to have her photography displayed at events and have people resonate so deeply with her work and their truth.
● More about her achievement as the only Canadian selected for Facebook’s Community Leadership Program.
● Three important things to remember when dealing with a loved one that has mental illness: believe, listen, don’t judge.
● What the next steps will be for her in both her personal life and as an advocate.
● “When you say mental illness, the first thing that pops into my mind is resilience.”
● “I felt like a freak, and I felt like I had no one to connect with.”
● “I didn’t know why I should have to feel ashamed for something I didn’t do to myself.”
● “This camera changed my life.”
● “Photography brought me into people’s best moments.”
● “I make sure my pride comes from an act of helping and service.”
● “The illness tricks you. It makes you believe you don’t deserve life or joy.”
Journey Into the Inner Circle:
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