Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

Next topic tackled at Sarnia Speaks forum: resiliency

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

Lauren Crighton refuses to let her mental illness define her.

“Even though I’ve been living with this since I was 12, I’ve managed to do some pretty amazing things in my life,” said the 30-year-old nurse and comedian.

“I am proud of myself and I want people to know this isn’t the end for them. If you have a diagnosis, you can rise above it and do the things you want to do.”

Crighton was diagnosed with depression at age 12 and then bipolar disorder at 21. She has been following the successful Sarnia Speaks panelist series on social media, and recently reached out about sharing her own story on stage.

“I’ve always been very forthcoming about my illness, and I love raising awareness,” said Crighton, who will join a group of panelists at the Sarnia Library Theatre on May 10 for Sarnia Speaks: Resiliency.

The series, covering various mental-health related topics, was launched last year by Danielle Cooper and includes a panel of speakers followed by an open dialogue with the audience.

“If you haven’t been to a Sarnia Speaks yet, this is the one to come to — we are discussing so many different challenges and topics and I really think it is going to appeal to a broad audience,” said Cooper.

Panelists include Emily Ager, who will share her story of overcoming a life-threatening battle with mental illness and cancer, all before age 21, and Dan Edwards, who has become a vocal advocate for mental illness after becoming a paraplegic while roughhousing with friends 10 years ago.

“I want people to have more understanding; and I want them to know this is not a death sentence,” said Crighton, who credits a supportive circle of family and friends to help keep her positive. She also finds support at the Lambton Mental Wellness Centre, on Durand Street in Sarnia, where group therapy for those living with bipolar disorder has been a huge help.

“I go every Friday and talk to people who have the same illness as me, and we talk about ways to improve,” she said.

“You end up bouncing ideas off each other that you never would have thought of, which is great.”



WHAT: Sarnia Speaks: Resiliency

WHEN: May 10, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Sarnia Library Theatre

DETAILS: Event is free; open to the public


More like this