Lance Krasman – In Memoriam
“What is needed is sometimes not there in time”
This Community Mental Health Centre is named in the fond memory of Lance Krasman who contributed greatly to its planning in its’ early stages. Lance was a founding member of the Markham Area Mood Disorders Association (MAMDA). Born on August 29, 1954 in Downsview, Lance attended Sir Sandford
Fleming Secondary School and briefly the University of Western Ontario. In high school, he was a star o
n both the junior and senior basketball teams. Lance then had a very successful career as an insurance
underwriter until clinical depression made it impossible for him to continue working. His intermittent bouts of the illness also made him decide to end what had been a brief but very happy marriage out of consideration for what he felt was his wife’s best interests.
Lance was gifted – intellectually, athletically, and musically. When not acutely depressed, he showed a tremendous capacity for joy, an off-beat sense of humour, and he laughed so heartily that he could light
up a room. He was excellent at chess and outstanding at pool. His jazz improvisations of popular standards on the piano were a musical treat. He read avidly, including notable books on Psychiatry, abnormal psychology, and pharmacology; furthermore, he retained what he read.
His knowledge of psychiatric mediations was legend among his fellow MAMDA members. Those who knew him best remember his intelligence, his articulateness, his outspokenness, and his compassionate caring for others. He befriended and helped many troubled consumers.
Unfortunately, despite his best efforts and other supports, three of Lance’s close friends died by their own hands in the year preceding his own passing. As well as the inevitable grief, Lance expressed concern that
he should have done more, when in fact, he had done much more than anybody could reasonably expect. Perhaps, in this, Lance’s memory identifies a hazardous trap to avoid in the peer-support movement as well as many admirable qualities to emulate.
Lance passed away on September 29, 1996, much too young at 42. He is survived by his loving mother Mrs. Helen Ellis, an important source of support to him in good times and bad. He also left behind admiring friends then he ever knew he had.
Those of us who knew Lance would rather have his person by our sides than his memorialized name on the Centre he helped build with us.