It’s time to teach your kids about the impact of addiction on their families.
That means you might have to tell them that, in their lives, they’re not alone, said Mike Tippet, the head coach of the St. Louis Blues.
That’s because the NHL is not yet ready to talk about mental illness and addiction in the same way as other professional sports leagues.
That hasn’t stopped many in sports leagues from trying.
Some have embraced the idea that we should all be in a better place if we want to see more kids come out of the closet.
But many others have been reluctant to discuss the issue, saying it’s taboo, too, and not an issue worth talking about.
But the NHL, which has a record of supporting mental health programs and encouraging coaches to help kids cope with mental health issues, is taking a new approach.
“We have the ability now to provide an environment that children can feel comfortable and be themselves and be part of something bigger,” Tippets said.
“That’s why we’re looking at that very seriously, in terms of how we want them to learn, and how we give them tools that they can use in their own lives.”
So far, Tippetts has had positive results with a new program, the Coach Tipping Point, that gives students a chance to take a personal, in-depth look at their own mental health, and to help the coaches teach them how to talk with their kids about their own issues.
“I think we have to recognize the role that mental illness plays in all of our lives,” Tuckett said.
“We can’t just dismiss it.”
But while coaches have been able to talk more openly about their mental health in recent years, they still are not equipped to offer the same help that other sports leagues are offering.
In the case of the concussion crisis, the NHL has taken steps to ensure that players can go to the doctor or a mental health facility after games.
But coaches still need to have access to the help that they need.
“When you go to a doctor or have a doctor talk to you, you know they can give you something, but you don’t know what that might be,” Tipper said.
You need to talk, Tipper continued, but it’s not always clear how.
“The NHL is a different place than some other leagues, and some of the teams don’t have a lot of resources,” Tipping said.
Some NHL teams are taking a proactive approach to the issue of mental health.
The St. Paul Saints have made significant strides in the past year in their mental wellness program, including hiring a mental-health counselor and an on-ice therapist, according to the team’s website.
The team also launched an initiative called The St. Patty’s Day Alliance that has trained coaches and players to make the connections and understand the importance of connecting with their families and peers.
And the Nashville Predators have taken a similar approach, hiring a therapist to coach players and staff on how to handle the impact that mental health can have on their relationships with their teammates and coaches.
It’s a model that has some NHL players excited.
“Every team I know, every organization, every team is kind of trying to find ways to make sure their players are better equipped to cope with it,” forward Jake Gardiner said.
Gardiner is one of a handful of players who have gone through a personal crisis and had to be hospitalized.
“It’s been a hard time for us.
I’ve been dealing with it since I was 18,” Gardiner explained.”
But this time it’s been different.
It’s been real tough.
I had to go to three different mental health centers.
My whole family had to get checked out.
It was just really tough.”
It wasn’t always so hard for Gardiner.
Before the concussion, he was one of the NHL’s best players, and the St, Paul native says he would have been playing at the end of the season had he not suffered a concussion during a game.
“To come back from that and be the player that I am now, I’m not so sure that I would have played,” Gardener said.
Tippet is taking some of that on.
The coach said that even though he’s not on the team anymore, he’s working with the players to help them understand the effects of mental illness on their own families.
“You want to be the coach that you want to work with,” Tiptet said.
That can be difficult because coaches are often the ones with the most experience in dealing with a mental illness.
“There’s a lot that’s not being talked about, and we have a responsibility to be better in our own lives,” said Tippitt.