Washington Capitals Host “HockeyTalks” Mental Health Awareness Night

Screen Shot 2020-01-16 at 8.01.36 PMPhoto: Capitals

In partnership with Medstar Health, the Washington Capitals hosted their first “HockeyTalks” Mental Health Awareness Night as they clashed with the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. The initiative is to raise awareness and help end the stigma around mental health.

The Capitals joined 14 other NHL teams hosting Hockey Talks tonight. The Hockey Talks mental health awareness initiative began in 2013, following the tragic passing of Canucks player Rick Rypien in 2011. Rick’s wish was to support others and help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by being a spokesperson for this issue.

Players such as center Lars Eller, forward Garnet Hathaway, and defenseman Radko Gudas took to social media to promote the initiative.

Captain, the team dog and future service dog, also tweeted about HockeyTalks. Being a part of America’s VetDogs program, an important quality of Captain is his 16-month training to become a service dog for a veteran or first responder with disabilities, which includes mental health.

The team kept the conversation going by wearing HockeyTalks decals on helmets tonight.

On January 9, Hathaway and his fiancée Lindsay Minges and defenseman Nick Jensen and his wife Jenner participated in a discussion apart of Talk Saves Lives, an introductory presentation on mental health and suicide prevention.

Tonight’s Capitals matchup featured different activations related to mental health, including PSAs and an AFSP informational table on the 200-level concourse.

For more insight on the Hockey Talks initiative and signs and resources for mental illness, please click here.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is a fiction writer based out of the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. area and an online student attending Full Sail University. She got her start in the entertainment industry at age seven as an actress. At the young age of nine, Della wrote a psychological thriller short story that sparked her interest in creative writing. She comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for sports. In her spare time, Della enjoys photography, traveling, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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