As a mental health professional, Derek
Luk has helped others deal with
addiction and mental health for over a
His own mental health has been tested.
Eighteen months ago he was injured
when a drunk driver struck his car.
Then two nursing colleagues committed
suicide. More recently, he’s taken on
the financial and emotional stresses
of launching a new online business
He’s meeting these challenges head-on. Fortunately, a growing package
of tools and therapies are available to
promote positive mental health.
One of them is mindfulness, which
Luk embraces. Mindfulness is a state of
being present that can be an effective
therapy for some people. Practising
mindfulness links mind and body
health and can include mediation,
breathing exercises, yoga and stretching,
walking and more. Using brain imaging
technology, neuroscientists have found
this affects the areas of the brain related
to perception, body awareness, pain
tolerance, emotion regulation and
After his injury, Luk also turned to
acupuncture and chiropractic treatments
to relieve his physical pain.
For his emotional pain, he relied
on meditating for 30-minutes a day
and practicing mindfulness. Through
mindful meditation, you can lean into
unpleasant thoughts and emotions.
“There was a sense of clarity in the
chaos where I just paused and took a
breath. It helped ground me so I could
focus on other things, such as making
sure my wife and dog were OK.”
With the help of trauma therapist Dr.
Rachael Crowder (who is now working
with him on his online program), he
found calmness and balance.