CAC Member Spotlight: Meet Lucie
Lucie Langford is the youngest member of the CAN-BIND Community Advisory Committee (CAC). Read below to learn a bit about Lucie’s story and why depression research is important to her.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Lucie and I’m originally from a small town northeast of Toronto called Port Perry. I currently live in Toronto where I work as a Research Assistant. I’m completing my education in Neuroscience & Mental Health as well as Psychology at Carleton University, and am extremely passionate about sharing my lived-experience of Depression, Anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder to help better the healthcare system. One day, I hope to become a Clinician-Researcher.
I often find myself representing the needs of children/youth because of the age of onset of my disorders, and I serve as an advocate on several committees, including the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario’s (MDAO) Youth Advisory Committee, the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND) Community Advisory Committee and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Residential Youth Services Panel (to name a few). I love to watch Blue Jays baseball, bake, and learn new things. I also love to surf, and especially during the cold winter months, I find myself longing to surf on warm waters!
How did you learn about the CAN-BIND CAC? When did you join?
I learned about the CAC on Twitter through one of CAN-BIND’s partner organizations, and joined around late 2015. While there are many interesting things I’m learning through my undergraduate education, I’m always looking for opportunities to apply the knowledge I’ve acquired so that I can make an impact at a community-level. I’m also drawn to neuroscience research, so I felt that the CAN-BIND CAC really suited my interests and long-term goals.
How would you describe your experience being on the CAC so far?
I’ve really enjoyed my experience so far, and it’s been a great compliment to my education. Given my foundation in neuroscience, I’ve been able to understand and absorb the research updates from the CAN-BIND Annual Workshops I’ve attended, which have further motivated me to pursue my goal of becoming a Clinician-Researcher.
The opportunities to meet and get to know CAN-BIND researchers and learn about opportunities in their labs have been invaluable.
The opportunities to meet and get to know CAN-BIND researchers and learn about opportunities in their labs have been invaluable. It’s also been neat to meet other CAC members, each with different perspectives, different backgrounds, and inspiring stories about their journeys with mood disorders. I’m also interested in CAN-BIND’s knowledge translation initiatives, which are helping to bring to light the real-world implications of research. One opportunity that stands out for me is when I was invited earlier this year to be a guest speaker at a youth outreach event at CAN-BIND’s McMaster University research site. I shared my experiences with Grade 11 and 12 students, and spoke about mood disorders and navigating the undergraduate education system.
What is something about depression that you want people to know?
Something I’d like people to know about depression is that you can’t always tell that someone has a depression diagnosis just by looking at them. When you have depression but don’t look the way someone expects you to present, it can be very hard to feel validated. Awareness about depression has improved substantially in recent years, but I think there is still a lot of progress to be made, especially in workplaces.
Why is depression research important to you?
Depression research is important to me because it has the potential to improve accurate diagnosis and early intervention.
If my symptoms were taken more seriously early on, I think a lot of subsequent problems and the decline in function that I experienced could have been prevented.
If my symptoms were taken more seriously early on, I think a lot of subsequent problems and the decline in function that I experienced could have been prevented. Depression research that improves our understanding of the illness, targets the younger population with the goal of prevention, and builds capacity to make care more accessible are all areas I’m invested in.
What area of depression research are you most interested in?
I’m most interested in predictive research. For example, research that will lead to models that predict which populations are at-risk, so that depression can be prevented, or research that can predict which medication or treatment will be most effective for a person. Really, any research that prevents a person from suffering from mood disorders at all, or as little as possible, is research I stand behind.
Want to know more about Lucie’s experience with depression and what she thinks can be done to decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness ? Watch this video by the Ontario Brain Institute.
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Allen TA, et al., Psychological Medicine, 2018