Blake Horsley is a renowned artist, author, and mental health advocate who has overcome many challenges throughout his life. Blake was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the young age of seventeen, and he struggled for years to come to terms with his diagnosis. His mother was also bipolar, having even attempted suicide on a couple occasions. Despite the challenges he has faced, Blake has been determined to find ways to manage his mental health and use his experiences to help others. Seeing how mental illness impacted his own mother fuelled Blake to never give up and to become a voice for the mentally ill..
Blake's artwork reflects his experiences with bipolar disorder. He uses bold colours, strong lines, abstract shapes, and layers of images to express the intense emotions and energy that he feels during manic episodes. His art has been exhibited in galleries, art shows, and exhibitions around Ontario, having received much praise and recognition.
In addition to his artwork, Blake is also a published author. He has written a book titled A MAN WITH GLASSES.... about his experiences with bipolar disorder and having a mental illness that details his journey towards acceptance and recovery. It is an honest account of one suffering for an extended period of time, but never losing hope. His writing has been praised for its honesty, vulnerability, and compassion.
Blake's decision to speak openly about his mental health journey sets him apart as not just an artist but also a mental health advocate. By sharing his personal struggles, he aims to break down the stigma surrounding mental health issues and inspire others to embrace their own journeys.
One notable platform where Blake has shared his story is the award-winning podcast series "CAMPUS" on CBC, on the fourth episode titled "Going in circles." In a poignant episode, he opened up about the unique challenges of attending college while battling bipolar disorder. The podcast provided a glimpse into his life, detailing the highs and lows of navigating academia while managing the demands of mental health.
On the podcast, Blake's words resonated with listeners as he painted a vivid picture of the hurdles he faced and the triumphs he achieved despite his condition. His openness fostered a sense of understanding and empathy, creating a space for dialogue about mental health within the academic community and beyond.
Beyond podcasts, Blake actively engages with various platforms to spark conversations about mental health. His online presence serves as a canvas for both his artwork and advocacy efforts, fostering a supportive audience where others can share their stories and find solace in the understanding that they are not alone.
Blake Horsley stands as a testament to the transformative power of art and the resilience of the human spirit. Through his creativity and willingness to share his journey, he not only creates captivating visual narratives but also contributes to the broader narrative of mental health awareness. In doing so, he encourages others to embrace their own stories and helps build a world where mental health is destigmatized and openly discussed.
As a mental health advocate, Blake works tirelessly to raise awareness about bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. He gives talks and workshops about mental health, speaks publicly about his own experiences, and advocates for policy changes that improve access to mental health care.
Despite the challenges he has faced, Blake remains committed to his work as an artist, author, and advocate for mental health. He believes that by sharing his story and creating meaningful art, he can help others who are struggling with mental illness find hope and healing, and ultimately lives of vitality.
Blake Horsley recently graduated from Sheridan College's Social Service Worker program with high honours, marking a significant milestone in his journey towards making a positive impact on people's lives. Equipped with a comprehensive understanding of mental health issues and addictions, Blake is now prepared to embark on a fulfilling career dedicated to assisting individuals facing these challenges. Through his studies, Blake has gained valuable knowledge in evidence-based therapeutic approaches, compassionate counseling techniques, and community resources that foster recovery and well-being. Blake intends to utilize his skills and passion to provide support, empathy, and guidance to those in need, working tirelessly to promote mental health awareness and contribute to the overall well-being of the individuals and communities he intends to serve.
From the words of Blake himself...
ART can make your thoughts beautiful, when your mind feels ugly!