Fil-Am photographer raises funds from landscape exhibit towards mental health causes

For most of his adult life, Fil-Am photographer Robert Surrency has had countless, difficult battles with anxiety and depression.

He’s tried medication, therapy; almost everything.

But it wasn’t until he was in the beauty of the outdoors — that he found some serenity.

“Photography helps me concentrate on the moment and what I’m shooting and how I’m shooting it. So it just helps me focus and channels me mentally into something positive and really enriching.”

Over a course of two years, traveling to places like Yosemite, Alaska, and Norway — Surrency took pictures. Now with a collaboration with other photographers, he created this exhibit.

According to Surrency, a majority of the money raised at the exhibit will go towards the Anxiety and Depression Association of America to help others dealing with mental health issues and to spread more awareness.

“You got to find whatever helps you and I found that being outside and being with my friends and celebrating the moments that we can try and capture has helped not just myself, and a lot of people I share it with.”

It was only within the last three years that Surrency found the confidence to speak about his struggles with mental illness with his family.

“There is a stigma about it in the traditional Filipino community but I found that if you’re honest with your family and friends, if they really respect and love you, and to want support you, if anything they offer a helping hand which has helped me tremendously over the years.”

For those who may be suffering from mental illness or know of someone who is — Surrency urges you to seek help.

For more info and help, please visit www.ada.org.

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