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Mariangela Abeo  

TEDx Speaker, Mental Health Advocate, Survivor, Creator & Photographer of Faces of Fortitude

Mariangela Abeo is a Mental Health Advocate, Speaker, Producer and the Photographer + Creator of the Faces of Fortitude project. FoF is a movement in portraits that strives to lay a foundation for healing for those affected by suicide by providing a safe, stigma-free space, both virtually through social media and in person with appearances and gallery events; for mental health and suicide to be discussed. After losing her brother over a decade ago to suicide, and surviving her own severe attempt to take her life as a teen, Mariangela started this movement initially for her own self healing. Her efforts caught fire online and she quickly saw a need for others needing a safe space to also share their stories. She now travels 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.

As a self trained photographer and producer, she currently presents 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, some event with accompanying pop up image galleries. In just 2 years her project has grown exponentially, now considered a movement, she has photographed over 150 Faces and counting, her images have been part of three art exhibits, and Faces of Fortitude has a rapidly growing social media fan base. A fine art book with poetry about depression and photography notes is in the works and set to be published in late next year.

Mariangela recently delivered an emotional and poignant speech entitled “Celebrate the Survivor: Creating a Safe Space around Suicide”, on the TEDx stage in Ohio, and has several other speaking engagements and pop up galleries scheduled for the close of 2019. As she enters 2020 she will enter the Global Speaker circuit, to spread the importance of sharing our stories of trauma and loss with each other, as a way to navigate our own healing process.


Mariangela Abeo | Faces of Fortitude

Faces of Fortitude started as a photography project and has grown into an online movement. This movement lays a foundation for healing through portraits of those personally affected by attempted or completed suicide. It strives to provide a safe, stigma-free space, virtually, through social media, and in person with gallery events, for mental health to be discussed, and stories of loss and survival to be shared.

‘Faces Of Fortitude’ | De-Stigmatizing Mental Illness And Healing Through Photography

Mariangela started Faces of Fortitude to help herself and others who have lived through trauma involving suicide or suicidal ideation, heal. Spurred on by photographer Stacy Pearsall’s after-hours talk on turning trauma into meaningful personal projects during CreativeLive’s Photo Week 2017, Mariangela set out on an impressive task.

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