‘Crash still haunts me’

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS -

FRAN­CIS Mclaugh­lan first turned to the bot­tle to “dumb out” the mem­o­ries of a 17-year-old boy who died in his arms af­ter a drag race gone wrong.

It was 2004 when a teenage driver slammed into Mr Mclaugh­lan’s car at 150km/h, split­ting him in two.

Trag­i­cally the young driver died and the in­ci­dent has had a last­ing im­pact.

“I was never a drinker, but it made me drink. I thought he was try­ing to talk to me and I wanted to dumb it out,” Mr Mclaugh­lan said.

“He hit me head-on and died in my arms. I had post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der ev­ery day.”

De­cid­ing to seek help, Mr Mclaugh­lan ended up found­ing The Health Re­treat, which helps tackle men­tal health dis­or­ders.

He says young men are “dy­ing like flies” and are un­able to take the first steps to turn their lives around.

“Men are wired dif­fer­ently, we sup­pos­edly cope bet­ter and keep it bot­tled up in­side, but you’re no good dead.”

Over the next month, Mr Mclaugh­lan will try to raise $50,000 for men­tal health and prostate can­cer by tak­ing part in the Distin­guished Gen­tle­men’s Ride in Noosa on Septem­ber 30.

He’s al­ready raised more than $1600 and while the $50,000 goal might seem lofty, he doesn’t “do things by halves”.

To help, go to www.gen­tle man­sride.com/fundraiser/Fran cisFounderofTheHealthRe­treat.

Photo: Con­trib­uted

GEN­TLE­MEN’S RACE: Fran­cis Mclaugh­lan will take part in the Distin­guished Gen­tle­men's Ride to raise money for men's men­tal health and prostate can­cer.

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