NHL Opening Up About Mental Illness

For something that is so vital, taking care of mental health is something that is often pushed aside and left to later. Bell Let’s Talk is taking to social media to raise awareness and the NHL community is standing beside them.

Today, the world is talking about the importance of getting help with #BellLetsTalk . Bell Let’s Talk is a donating 5 cents to help mental health organizations for every “Bell Let’s Talk Day” video view, tweet using #BellLetsTalk (even retweets), use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. 

The hockey world has taken with using the hashtag and sharing their stories on Twitter. NHLers are talking about the importance of mental health and getting help when need be, saying that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

There is amazing stories being shared by players of a game where people always tell you to “toughen up”. Head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs Mike Babcock has been a loud voice when it comes to opening up about mental illness. Earlier this year, Babcock brought Auston Matthews on a road trip while he was injured back in November. When asked why he said:

“If you’re a married guy and you’ve got three kids and you can be at home with your family and skate at home why wouldn’t you do that? But if you’re a young guy and you’re sitting in Toronto in your condo what do you do? I mean these are your buddies, this is what you do. Why wouldn’t you hang out with your guys? I think mental health is so important in getting better as well as the physical part.” 

Babcock has opened up about how mental illness has affected his life, he lost 2 friends to suicide, and he wants to help others. Babcock talked with Darren Dreger and talked about why he has been a big advocate for mental health awareness, it’s a video worth watching.

Another story that is worth a read is by a goaltender named Ben Meisner. Meisner talks about the struggles of being in the minor leagues and living week-to-week off paycheck, equivalent to what I made working in a grocery store. He talks about his struggles with OCD, anxiety, and depression, how low it got until he asked for help and how that turned his life around.

This article is amazingly written and so moving, and it takes true bravery to talk about what you’ve been through. Meisner’s story is inspiring and proves that getting help is not a sign of weakness.

Read Ben Meisner’s story here.

The hockey community has opened up for these conversations to be had and that is a fantastic step forward. The sport is so focused on being tough, it’s great to see the whole community banding together to talk about mental illness and getting help.

Featured Image: TSN

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