Name: Ryan Luyk
Occupation: Account Executive
In January of 2016, Ryan’s life was forever changed. He spent three weeks in the hospital in an induced coma as a result of a prescription pill & alcohol overdose.
Ryan is a suicide attempt survivor, and shares his story to encourage those who may be suffering from drug and alcohol misuse/abuse to seek support, and remind everyone that you matter – regardless of what your mind might be telling you. Ryan is an active mental health advocate passionate about spreading awareness about addictions, and plays an instrumental role in helping the community, volunteering as a peer mentor in addition to his Account Executive job at Calyx Wellness.
Ryan is living proof of the expression: “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” He’s been sober since 2017 and continues to wake up every day and share his story in hopes of helping others who are struggling. We encourage you to follow Ryan on Instagram (@ryan_luyk), where he shares motivational posts along his journey in recovery (and pictures of his adorable pets!).
Q: What does “mental health” mean to you?
(Ryan): Embracing who you are & being proud of your unique talents & skills. Continuous improvement, self discovery & learning. Embracing challenges, choices & change. Being vulnerable & authentic.
Q: Do you feel that currently there is sufficient education and awareness surrounding suicide prevention? Why?
(Ryan): Not at all. Some good work has been done to date, however it is nowhere near where it needs to be. Caring, empathetic & talented individuals, groups & organizations are doing great work. One life lost due to suicide is too many. We need individuals, groups & organizations from all walks of life to make suicide prevention & awareness a top priority.
Q: What do you feel is the biggest barrier preventing individuals from seeking support for their mental health?
(Ryan): Shame, guilt, embarrassment, unable to realize just how poor your own mental health this, feeling like you will never get better, stigma, inability.
I am a champion, survivor & warrior.