Luke JonesImage by: Movember
6 October 2022

Luke’s story: Motor racing and mental health

3 minutes read time

What’s your motivation for supporting Movember? 

Irony, in that I can’t grow facial hair in any meaningful way; and the fact that I was born in November.

I feel an obligation around my birthday to be better, to speak up more, and to help others - the passing of another year reminds me that I’m lucky to still be here when others aren’t. I’m grateful for that.

Who or what do you turn to when times get tough? 

Honestly, I’m terrible at turning to anyone, but I’m learning. I’m not great at speaking up, but my Mum is my rock and I have a few close friends I share with.

Movember has an impact there too, because I’m forcing myself to get comfortable sharing my story, my struggles, and the fact that things do get better as well.

" It’s as simple as knowing that no matter how bad things are, they can and often do get better. "

What challenge in your life have you had to overcome? 

I struggle to this day with depression and anxiety. From a young age I competed in motor racing and we never had it easy, but I grew up in an environment where I was encouraged to work hard. Then, at 21 when I realised that my professional sports career was over before it had really started, I attempted suicide. This happened a few times, but I never really wanted to die, I just wanted the pain to end and I couldn’t see another way out.

I’d love to say that the suicidal ideation has gone away, but it’s more something that I’ve learned to manage - if I feel on the edge now, I try to be pragmatic and reason my way out of it. The feeling passes in the end, and that’s comforting because it shows me that I better understand my emotions now than I did 12 years ago.

What do you do to stay both physically and mentally well?

I love exercise. Running especially. Running really clears things up for me mentally, and there’s a physical health benefit too.

What’s one of the most interesting conversations you’ve ever had?

I’m fortunate enough to have met a few notable figures in my sport, but there’s one person (who shall remain nameless) that really showed me there’s value in being a nice guy. The conversation itself wasn’t insightful or particularly special, but it showed me the quiet impact you can have on someone and how that can change their day or their fortunes.

I was having a rough day at an event. The press and another driver had been quite harsh to me, but this guy tried to shield me a little. He’s incredibly successful and had always been a bit of a hero to me, so meeting him was already pretty cool. Aside from stepping into the crossfire, he also put his arm around me and quietly told me that he liked my character, that he saw how determined I was and that he was certain I’d be successful.

Ultimately my sporting career still ended, but I carry that determination with me in my current work. That driver also led by example and showed that success doesn’t have to come at the expense of kindness. I’m grateful for that.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

It sounds so cliché, but honestly, it’s as simple as knowing that no matter how bad things are, they can and often do get better.

What is the philosophy you try to live by?

To trust my instincts, to be kind and considerate, and to try and be a force for good.


If you, or someone you know, is feeling low, don’t hesitate to reach out for support using these local support resources.

To speak with someone immediately, call The Samaritans on 116 123 or message the Shout text line on 85258.

If you’re ever worried that someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 999 or go directly to emergency services.