Blas Díaz is a social worker at a nursing home for the mentally ill in Chicago. Even though he spends his days helping people battle mental disorders, he was shocked to discover his own aunt had been battling bipolar disorder her entire life. Blas sat down with his tía and talked about the struggle to find the right medicines, the ever-present temptation of suicide, and the family support that’s helped her come this far. She has chosen to remain anonymous for this piece. Blas’ story comes to us by way of the Vocalo Storytellers Workshop from Chicago Public Media.
Blas grew up in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. He earned a B.S. in Biology at DePaul University, and after graduating worked for a time as a volunteer and intern at both the Lincoln Park Zoo and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. He is currently a social worker at a nursing home for the mentally ill in Chicago. He’s been through several different types of jobs throughout his 20s, and still isn’t entirely sure what he’s going to be doing ten years from now. He hopes that he’ll be doing work that’s equal parts meaningful and exciting.