Lawyer Jason Ward talks candidly about substance abuse and mental health issues to help others

Special Advocate Podcast episode out now

By Lindsay Advocate

Jason Ward speaks to The Advocate Podcast: Stories from Kawartha Lakes, about his recent struggles. Photo: Sienna Frost.

High profile Lindsay lawyer Jason Ward, who recently stepped away from practicing law at Wards Lawyers, has come forward to speak openly with the Advocate Podcast about the struggles that pushed him to the brink of his professional and personal life.

Ward first spoke with the Canadian Bar Association’s podcast but wanted to tell his story locally, too. In a special episode of The Advocate Podcast: Stories from Kawartha Lakes, host Denis Grignon sits down for a frank discussion with Ward who doesn’t hold back from talking about his alcoholism, his challenge with legal drugs, and his anxiety about ever returning to practice law — at least yet.

Just under a year ago Ward left the law firm, poised to run for mayor in last November’s election. But he dropped out of the race early, telling the Advocate last March that giving everything to Wards Lawyers over the years came “at a personal price.”

“As it turns out, in my own journey, I neglected one, important thing, my own mental health and wellbeing.”

Listen to this special episode of the Advocate Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, PodBean, or on the home page of by scrolling down to Podcasts.


  1. Jane Junkin says:

    Raw, honest, enlightening – setting an example for others who need help but may be afraid to seek it.
    Thank you for sharing your story – may you continue to move forward and make progress!

  2. Heather Payne says:

    May you continue to thrive in your journey to wellness.
    Thank you for sharing

  3. Eleanor Dougherty says:

    Jason, you don’t know me but I knew your Dad as I worked in the Court there before moving back to my home in N.B. OR your parents’ did come and brought some family with them but can’t remember if you one of the young ones lol. Stayed at my B&B and the children had a tent they put up on the river bank. However, having read about your trials on here, I am so proud of you, as I am sure your family is also so very proud. It takes a lot to discuss some of our trials and times we go through. I pray you keep moving forward and some day you will be able to go back to practise Law and hold your head up high. Your Mother wrote me a note when I lost my daughter to Cancer, and I appreciated it very much.
    God Bless and will be praying for your total recovery from all your deamons. Life is precious.

  4. Steph Mcdonald says:

    Jason you are a true inspiration to so many.
    You are a kindhearted soul and I’m so sorry that you suffered in silence.
    Such bravery to tell your story. Taking time off to heal and take care of your own mental health is upmost important.❤️

  5. Marion Warren says:

    Jason thank you for sharing your journey with us. Sharing has made this journey real for many of us and for those who are addicts a respected member of our community who shares with honesty and compassion. You will come to recognize your new niche in the community.

  6. Karen Ferguson says:

    Jason, I have always reminded our children never to judge because everyone has a story. We don’t always know theirs but you were generous and kind enough to share yours. A great example. Your father would be very proud.

  7. Kelly says:

    Hearing your story and by you sharing your vulnerability in the hope of trying to destigmatize mental health and addiction helps to take the sting out of feeling taken advantage of by you in your legal practice. I was taken down a rabbit hole of unnecessary costs and for years have felt angry about that. Your story is a good lesson in: not all is what it seems. On the outside you projected the image of someone who had it all together if one were to measure success by material means but on the inside you were struggling. Thank you for sharing your story.

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