Lucas’ personal experiences around mental health issues inspired him to pursue a career working with people who had developmental disabilities and mental health issues. As part of a specialized team, he was trained to help people in crisis.

While attempting to assist someone in crisis, Lucas was attacked twice, resulting in physical injuries and mental trauma. He suffered a concussion and began experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The following year was very difficult for Lucas. In his seven years in his career, he had thought he was invincible, but now he was experiencing anxiety, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. He was blaming himself for the trauma he had experienced, and he eventually attempted to take his own life.

To cope, he turned to drugs and alcohol, and this self-destructive behaviour resulted in the erosion of many important relationships.

Recognizing he needed a healthier way to cope, Lucas experimented with therapy, but he had a hard time finding the right fit and sessions were expensive.

It was during this time that Lucas began working out. A close friend was a personal trainer and he worked with Lucas to get him started. After being encouraged by several friends to try a membership at GoodLife, Lucas joined the gym and began working out frequently, utilizing a mix of strength training, cardio and high-intensity interval training.

As he increased his physical strength, Lucas found his mental resolve growing too. The confidence that had faded began to return and he pushed the destructive coping habits aside.

Despite facing challenges himself, Lucas has continued to pour himself into helping others who are facing similar problems. He has seen many people struggle with mental health issues in Woodstock and he has committed to being part of the change.

Lucas holds a position on the Client and Family Advisory Council at the local CMHA branch, joining together with people from all walks of life to bring about transformation in the city. Although it is still difficult to discuss in detail, he shares his story in hopes of increasing mental health awareness and encouraging others to be open with their struggles.