To celebrate this year’s CMHA Mental Health Week, CMHA Ontario’s Talk Today program team recently interviewed professional hockey player and mental health advocate, Garrett McFadden.
The Mental Health Week theme for 2023 is “My Story,” so the Talk Today team of Alex Salomie and Justin Dickie sat down with McFadden to learn more about his story and why he was moved to launch his own charitable initiative, McFadden’s Movement, in support of mental health.
In the interview, McFadden discusses why it was important for him to give back to the community during his time with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm, leveraging the Storm’s prominent community presence to create conversations and change around mental health.
McFadden, 25, is currently the captain of the Reading Royals, the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers. McFadden also spent time with the American Hockey League (AHL)’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season. Prior to turning pro, he spent three seasons in U Sports with the Acadia University Axemen (2018-22) and five seasons with the Storm (2013-18). He also had a four-game stint with the AHL’s Laval Rocket on an amateur try out in 2018.
During his time in Guelph, the defenceman was a participant in CMHA’s Talk Today program. Launched in partnership with the OHL in 2014, Talk Today is now one of the most comprehensive mental health programs for amateur sports in Canada. Its aim is to promote the mental health of young athletes and to spread awareness about the benefits of positive mental health throughout communities across the country.
Since 2014, Talk Today has expanded beyond the OHL across the entire Canadian Hockey League to include the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. In 2019, the program launched in the Canadian Junior Hockey League with the generous support of the Fifth Line Foundation and NHL Foundation. Talk Today also has partnerships in several other elite amateur and minor sports programs across Canada. The Talk Today program has become a valuable platform for CMHA branches, teams and individual players to encourage open discussion about mental health within the sports community and the broader public. Learn more about Talk Today here.
To learn more about McFadden’s Movement, get involved or register for the third annual Celebrity Charity Classic golf tournament set for July 23 at Ariss Valley Golf & Country Club, visit www.mcfaddensmovement.com.
CMHA’s Mental Health Week runs from May 1-7. Join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #MyStory.