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Please welcome first-time contributor John Blair, an artist in his forties who resides in St. Louis, Missouri. John is a priest in residence at St. Claire and St. Francis Ecumenical Catholic Community. For over a decade, he has worked primarily in health care, as a chaplain and spiritual counselor. He has provided spiritual care and counseling to patients, client’s and/or their families in mental health inpatient and outpatient treatment and church settings. John has also personally struggled with depression. He has been able to manage through receiving professional and spiritual counseling, loving support from others, and using his faith, as resources. He has found purpose and meaning in his life through photography, painting, writing poetry, and making music. John has a Doctorate of Ministry, an MA in Professional Counseling, a Masters of Divinity and an AB in English.
About this photo: “Each of the models in these photographs were able to demonstrate through their physical posture and emotional affect my experience of depression, both in providing treatment to others, and my own struggles with it. One of the difficulties of depression is the painful awareness that something is wrong, but the inability to “fix” the problem. There can be the further embarrassment of knowing one needs professional support, but not knowing how to ask for that help or even worse, the feeling that asking for help would be futile. Yet these photographs are my visual testimony, if you will, that depression can be endured and withstood. While there may be re-occurring episodes of depression, in learning to live with it, many of us can become more empowered and discover a depth of meaning and joy to living that otherwise, some of us may never have realized.”