Double exposure image of a man

"Reaching out and coming to terms that you may need some help is the bravest thing you can do."

About Nicholas:Nicolas in Soccer Goalie gear

I am currently a second-year medical student at the University of British Columbia. I love going to the gym, playing soccer, and hanging out with friends and family during my free time.


I suppose there were a couple of turning points. The first of which was when I first truly came to the realization that I couldn’t deal with this on my own. I moved to Canada at the age of 14 and for the first year here I was depressed, a shell of who I was, and suicidal. That first step to getting help and reaching out to my parents changed my life.

I can’t put a finger on it but somewhere along the line, things really seemed to click. The thought exercises and skills that I had been reading about and trying to implement in my life seemed to be on deck whenever I needed them. Previously I would go through periods of depression or destructive thought patterns and would really have to work to re-align myself. At some point, those skills get easier to access, and it makes the tough times pass so much quicker.



  • I did not think I was the type of person to have a notebook filled with things I was grateful for, my thoughts on how I went through the day, and positive lessons to remind myself but here I am. It seems cliche, but some things are cliches because they are true. I would say that your journal should not be a chore. Use it as a tool that may or may not make a difference for you and don’t stress about doing it every day.


  • I am better if I go to the gym or play soccer regularly. Even if I don’t have a great workout every day, the opportunity to disconnect from whatever is going on in my life and get in touch with my body is a sacred time for me. Whether you are a runner, a swimmer, or a cyclist, the type of exercise doesn’t matter so do what suits you and makes you feel the best.

Cutting out social media

  • Not only has it saved me a lot of time, but I also found myself either comparing myself to others or getting annoyed at what I was seeing online. So I cut it out. You don’t have to delete it but taking a detox could do most people good.

Opening up to my friends

  • The first few times I had a conversation with my friends about my mental health, I was nervous and feared being judged. Thankfully the people around me are so supportive and really had a vested interest in how I was doing. This gave them the freedom to share their challenges, our relationships strengthened, and I felt a sense of belonging and normalcy.


You are not alone. This is the quote I keep in my head whenever I am going through tough times and think I am suffering by myself. Keeping that reminder of a shared human experience makes things easier. Nobody will know exactly how you feel, but there is somebody out there who is willing to hear what you are going through and be there for you.

The first step, in many ways, is the hardest. Reaching out and coming to terms that you may need some help is the bravest thing you can do. It is frightening and intimidating, but I cannot stress how valued and important you are. You deserve it.

– Nicholas, Kelowna, BC, Canada