Dan Lukasik has given over 200 presentations throughout the U.S. on depression, anxiety, and stress. He tells his powerful story of his struggles growing up in a traumatic home with an alcoholic father, overcoming obstacles to become a successful lawyer, diagnosis of major depression at age 40, and learning to overcome and manage. One of the most challenging aspects of living with depression was dealing with the stigma surrounding his mental illness. At first hurt and then angered by such stigma he and others encountered, he launched Lawyerswithdepression 15 years ago to educate others about depression, provide resources, and combat the stigma to those who often struggle in a lonely battle against this disease.
After an over 30 career as a trial lawyer, Dan now serves as the Judicial Wellness Coordinator for the New York State of Court Administration. Dan develops mental health programming for 15,000 judicial and non-judicial court employees in the state court system in this role. Dan is a professor at the University of Buffalo School of Law, teaching fifty law students a course on mental health and well-being in the legal profession.
Dan’s work on mental health has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, Thrive Global, CNN, NPR, and many other national and international publications. WebMD recently selected him for a video on the importance of working with a therapist throughout one’s life to manage clinical depression. In addition, Dan was chosen by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMSA”) in Washington, D.C. as their spokesman in a PSA video of someone living successfully with depression. Dan has given talks before corporations, law firms, mental health organizations, colleges, and law schools throughout the country, including Harvard, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania. He is a recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s “Award of Merit” and the University at “Buffalo’s Distinguished Alumni Award” for his contributions to and de-stigmatize and support those who struggle with depression.
A 1988 graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law, Dan lives with his wife and daughter in Lancaster, New York. He volunteers in his community at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy in Buffalo and has mentored a young man named George from the Mission for the past seven years. In this relationship, Dan has not only helped George, who he met as a ten-year-old child without a father but found profound healing and friendship with someone who has given as much to Dan as he has to him.
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