Vancouver Canucks: Hockey Talks

Brace yourselves Canucks fans, we’re about to witness not 1, BUT 3 Canucks players take part in the upcoming NHL All-Star game! Congratulations once more to Elias Pettersson, Jacob Markstrom and Quinn Hughes. As exciting as the event will be to see the team have multiple representatives on hand for the first time in many years, the Canucks are hosting a very important night before the by-week: Hockey Talks.

Hockey Talks is one of the team’s most important initiatives where the focus goes beyond the game and focuses on the importance of mental health awareness and helping to expand the conversation and working to end the stigmas that surround it. An initiative that began in 2013  shortly after the Canucks lost one of their own: Rick Rypien. The loss of Rick Rypien was felt deep within the organization and among the fans. He was a hero to SO many and his story has helped SO many to know that they can come forward, sharing their own stories and in doing so will inspire SO many more to know that it’s okay to not be okay, that it’s okay to struggle and that being sick doesn’t make you weak. Also asking for help or being in need of help DOES NOT make you weak in any way, it shows a strength that you never knew was possible. And I promise you, that YOU reading this right now, YOU matter and NO ONE can ever replace YOU.

Hockey Talks programs across the league look to educate all of us about mental health, sharing resources, encouraging the continued conversation and to help those who struggle. Hockey Talks since it’s debut has only continued to grow with 15-teams league wide are taking part in the initiative this season. Hopefully soon that line will read that EVERY team league wide is taking part in this very important initiative!

We miss you always, Ryp! #RYP37

Rick Rypien lost his life way too soon but his legacy that his family, friends, teammates and fans have helped to carry forward will never be forgotten. Tomorrow’s game(Jan.16)  is about so much more than a game, it is in honour of Rypien and all those who battle EVERY SINGLE day. Throughout this game. each game that is a part of this Hockey Talks program AND on January 29(Bell Let’s Talk day!) AND ALL year round, we can keep the conversation about mental health going, breaking our silence and reducing the stigmas. Let’s make it part of the norm because NO ONE, should ever have to fear speaking up or coming forward.

Before we part ways, here are a few resources:

Foundry

Mind Right

Canadian Mental Health Association

Jack.org

Here’s to a memorable night spreading awareness and good mental health to all.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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