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To be at the top of your game, you have to advocate for yourself

Professional athletes see the highest highs and the lowest lows through their careers. One mistake, one injury, and one bad game can completely change your life. With hard work and a little bit of luck, you could achieve greatness. Imagine the feeling: the name on the back of your jersey engraved in history. The climb is difficult and the way down from the top can be treacherous. The worst part? These professionals make it look easy.

In November 2021, one of Canada’s most popular athletes made a bold statement. Carey Price, the decorated goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, announced that he needed help. After reaching the Stanley Cup finals in the 2021 season, he joined the NHL Player’s Assistance Program months later for substance use and mental health issues.

When rumours started to surface that he would be returning, he took that time to put out a message regarding his mental health. He was open, honest, and transparent. Though the National Hockey League has made efforts to be a league of inclusion, there are still many issues with toxicity and inequality. In our day-to-day lives, mental health and substance abuse issues are still stigmatized.

Carey Price’s statement went against the societal norms. He brought his demons out of the shadow and into the light. He was no longer suffering alone, everyone was now a part of his journey. His message was applauded across the league. You didn’t have to be a fan to appreciate his strength and courage.

Though there have been strides towards more awareness and acceptance of mental health issues, it is still seen as a brave act to admit that you need help. It can be tough; you worry that it makes you seem weak, you feel like you’re letting people down, and you worry about people judging you.

Let’s stop right there and clarify a few things. Asking