Surviving tragedy and championing mental health with Tyler Smith

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It’s okay to struggle and it’s okay to ask for help.

Those are just two of the messages that Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivor Tyler Smith shared with an auditorium packed with Ontario Agricultural Conference attendees last week at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus.

It was April 6, 2018 when a bus carrying the hockey team collided with a semi-trailer truck near Armley, Saskatchewan, killing 16 and seriously injuring 13, including Smith. More than five years later, the 25 year old says he still can’t recall the events of that day but is hoping to help others as he shares his mental health journey through the challenges of living and building a life after the tragic crash.

In this interview with RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin, Smith shares how he tried to deal with the devastation and eventually sought help from a therapist to understand and deal with his grief. (Story continues after the video.)

Smith believes sharing his story has helped him move forward with his life and feels his experience can help others who face mental health challenges.

“People are struggling,” says Smith. He encourages others who struggle to be authentic, share their experiences and how they tackle mental health hurdles: “Your story can be the spotlight at the end of other people’s tunnels,” he says.

Smith also discusses how he and his girlfriend (now fiancĂ©) Kat Kastner drew strength from “16 angels” to persevere and win the Amazing Race Canada competition in 2023.

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