Mental Health Association
of Northwestern PA

"I'm The Evidence" Award Nominations for 2018

May 23 2018 Erie, PA

NOMINEE: Grace Lukawski


Grace was a schoolteacher who taught Social Studies and English as a Second Language in California. She became disabled by depression and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was unable to continue. She returned to Erie and took the CPS training hoping to find part time work giving a service to others. She was hired by MHA in November 2016.

Grace has been practicing mindfulness and meditation for years for her own health. She invites her meditation group to her own home for sessions. She decorated her home to be a respite; a peaceful, fun, vibrant environment; a spiritual place of hope to facilitate all in meditation and sharing. She still has weeks when the exhaustion is unbearable and she is barely able to keep up with her part time CPS job, but she still is eager to share the use of meditation with others.

Grace has been enthusiastic about helping peers who want to grow personally using her creative talents to find ways to motivate and challenge those peers who are lucky enough to work with her. She believes that people want to be listened to: really heard. She listens to what they say and what they think they need. Her suggestions come from her own live experience. She uses these skills to facilitate the DBSA support group where regular members have grown to appreciate, love and depend on her contributions and presence.

In group and on the job she strives to find ways to help people restate negatives to solution oriented positive thoughts and actions. She is a blessing.

Gail McGuire