Photo essay by Evan Ortiz addresses mental health as presented by: Denver Post

Evan Ortiz is not in the habit of overlooking people that are right in front of him. Ortiz, photojournalism student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, started photographing Hannah when they lived in the same dormitory. What began as a posed portrait assignment turned into ongoing documentary project chronicling intimate moments in Hannah’s life. Ortiz took an interest in Hannah when he learned she was struggling with her mental health, an issue he felt akin to and believed was not discussed enough. “I was touched at how open she was,” Ortiz said, “Having someone follow you into your darkest moments is not an easy thing to do.” Ortiz says Hannah’s situation is one grounded in self-doubt: “Sometimes who you want to be and who you are don’t match up, and for Hannah this means a long battle with depression, bulimia, medication abuse, and alcohol.” In a interview with Ortiz, Hannah described herself as “the antithesis of who I thought I would be.” She articulated depression as something that “gives you a way to justify everything that you hate about yourself, about everybody else.”

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