Luke Frazier defines himself as a servant leader who is inspired by the two great men in his life.
Firstly, his grandfather. Luke says he’s the type of person who wakes up in the morning and asks, ‘How can I help the world?’ The second person was a teacher and pastor from Luke’s high school. He went to breakfast with Luke and his friends every Friday for two years and would always tell them to be good, which Luke interpreted as doing good in the world. Luke and one of his friends even got ‘be good’ tattooed on themselves about a year after their teacher and mentor passed away.
And Luke sure has gone on to do good in the world.
He is co-founder and executive director of depression2extinction (d2e), a nonprofit on a mission to create space for mental health awareness. While Luke doesn’t think depression can ever be completely eradicated, d2e aims to end the stigma around depression and teaches people how to prevent going to really deep, dark places where they feel there’s no one to talk to.
To understand just how important this work is, you have to understand some of the facts around depression:
- 3.1 million adolescents aged 12-17 had at least one depressive episode last year
- The total economic burden of depression is estimated to be $210.5 billion per year
- ⅔ people with depression do not seek or receive proper treatment
- 80% of those who receive treatment for depression show an improvement within 4-6 weeks
To address this problem of people not seeking the treatment that will most likely benefit them, d2e have developed a check-in tool (available on their website) so that people can easily communicate their feelings. They offer services for teens and young adults, and their program is currently in about 50 schools across the country. They are also implementing their first workplace health program with an aviation company in Austin.
Most importantly, Luke advocates a mindful approach to avoiding conflict and anger. He says that when someone does something like cutting us off in traffic, “we can take some time to consider what they might be going through, ignore the lies that tell us to react with our emotions, and step into the good possibilities of our day.”
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