My name is Jean-Francois Dupras. I am a native of Quebec, but I have lived in Alberta for over 12 years.
As a result of traumatic events in my early teens, I began to be affected by depression, without really knowing it. Later, I tried every possible way to free myself from this pain that kept me from being happy. At the age of 20, I wanted to kill myself, because I could no longer suffer and feel lost. The following years were sprinkled with ups and downs, but I still had that feeling of heaviness that prevented me from finding happiness.
Two years ago, as a result of a work-related accident, the depression banged again at my door, but this time, with even greater magnitude. I finally had the courage to seek professional advice to help settle my wounds of the past and better understand what was happening to me.
Despite all these experiences and difficulties, I have always been a great dreamer. This faculty allowed me to keep my head out of the water more than once in times of distress. I have always been passionate about nature and the outdoors. Through nature, I learn to discover myself and to go beyond my limits. It was during my first visit to the Banff area in 2001 that the real love for the mountain came true. A few years later, I made my first ascents and discovered a real passion for climbing and mountaineering.
Now, my dream is to share my story and my experiences in order to raise awareness of mental illness, still misunderstood by the majority of the population. I also want, through my project, to promote the power of dreams and passion. I strongly believe that everything is possible, the only thing that can stop us is our fears and self-belief system.
My dream and project is to achieve the ascent of the seven summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. My partners and I are currently planning to climb Mt Denali in Alaska in June 2018. It is the highest peak in North America with an altitude of 20,310 feet (6190M). I want to set up a website (jean-francoisdupras.com) where people will be able to follow us through our adventure. I recently created my logo which is called “Maviemonaventure, Mylifemyadventure.” My site will be in English and French, in order to reach and sensitize as many people as possible. I would also like to lecture at schools to educate young people about mental illness, and to talk about the power of dreams and passion through my adventures and life experiences.
My wish is to help people find a balance in all aspects of their lives so that they can live happier lives. We all know a person who is dear to us and who has or will face mental health problems at some point in his life. Together, it is possible to make a difference and help people in need.