It is nice to know that hockey players are humans like us. I know, they float across the ice on thin blades of steel. They make huge amounts of money and they get to wear cool uniforms! Once in awhile, it is nice to read an article about teams that help fight and support certain campaigns. I just finished reading this kind of article.
The campaign is called “Hockey Talks”, a mental health outreach program. The seven Canadian teams of the NHL are involved. This year, the Vancouver Canucks are going to be recognized for their leadership role in the program. This year, the team will receive the ‘Rona and Ken Purdy” award.
It is funny, but the U.S. based National Aliance on Mental Illness, (NAMI) selected the Canucks to receive the award. This program is to help people who have a mental illness and to decrease the usual stigma that goes with these two words.
The Canucks are committed to the cause as they are honoring one of their own. The late Rick Rypien who died by suicide on August 15, 2011. He told his teammates and others about his illness, and was granted time off for treatment and such. This is done in his honor.
The Canadian teams:
Vancouver Canucks Winnipeg Jets Toronto Maple Leafs Ottawa Senators Montreal Canadiens Edmonton Oilers Calgary Flames
The above teams all support fundraising and educational activities in the month of February.
NAMI hopes that by seeing the Canucks leadership, this will inspire more NHL teams, fans and other leagues to speak out and to encourage people to get help when they need it. Mental health is something not to laugh at, it can kill you.
So, will any U.S. National Hockey League teams be inspired?