Candice Kutyn works every day to prove to others that you can get back up after being knocked down.

“There is power and healing in hearing someone else’s story,” she says.

“I have seen it in the pages of other stories and if I can do the same for just one person, I will count that as a success. It is my hope that my story and work can aid in someone else’s healing.”

Kutyn’s young adult years were mired in anxiety and abusive relationships and in 1999 she was sexually assaulted. Shortly after the assault, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but later found out she was actually suffering from acute trauma continuing into PTSD. She was over-medicated for a mental health disorder that she did not have for more than a decade.

After moving to Alberta from BC in 2009, she went to school to be a social worker and is now a counsellor for Northern Rocky View Community Links.

“My own history and healing, from personal trauma lead me to a career in helping others on their own paths of resiliency and post-traumatic growth,” she says.

In addition, Kutyn is also the vice president of the Airdrie Pride Society and manages the PRYSM program, a safe place for LGBTQ2S+ youth.

She is also working on her Master of Social Work, with a clinical specialization in trauma informed practice and has opened her own counselling business – CK Holistic Counselling.

Sindy Jeske works with Kutyn at Community Links and says she embodies the rare example of someone who not only survived but grows beauty from her own dark and difficult places.

“She inspires everyone she comes into contact with her kindness, strength and wisdom,” says Jeske.

“Candice loves the community of Airdrie and enjoys being involved creating a more loving and accepting society.”