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"It's a great day for hockey!"
St. Louis, MO • United States • 39 Years Old • Male
I wouldn't normally post a blog like this but given the recent Bryce Salvador article at the players tribune website, remembering the suicides of Wade Belak and Rick Rypien, drug overdoses like Derek Boogard and the addiction problems of Theo Fleury, I wanted to share the following article. I have kept the original author anonymous as requested and changed some of the identifying information.

"I want to express my appreciation for everyone here at this mental facility. As a young adult, I went to my first NHL game. I can still remember sitting in the upper bowl watching and originally thinking it was nothing more than a bunch of grown men beating each other up. Then I noticed their skating, how they moved with such grace and beauty while managing to carry this little piece of vulcanized rubber down the ice. I noticed how they persevered while getting hit or hitting someone else while still staying upright on two thin metal blades with their heads on a swivel, looking for the next pass or that tiny window of opportunity to score. I was in complete awe of their work ethic, determination, dedication, and willingness to sacrifice for the good of the team. It isn't until actually experience something first hand that you discover the true beauty in it.

Our facility is my home ice rink. Just as every skater on a hockey team plays a vital role in contributing to the team's success, whether scoring a goal or saving a goal, every staff member here at the mental facility plays a vital role in changing someone's life or helping to prevent a life from ending. Our leadership team serves as our coaches and owners. They make tough choices based on what is best for the team. The surveyors, similar to referees and linesmen, make decisions that we don't always like or agree with, but their goal is to keep things in check and prevent the game from getting out of hand. The staff are our skaters. They play both ends of the ice and fight to make a difference while protecting everyone around them. The patients are our fans. We work for them to make their lives better.

The analogies between mental health and hockey extend further. Hockey, when compared to other sports, has the lowest salaries of the four major sports (yes I know there is irony in that statement given that they still make millions of dollars, yet their millions are lower than the other major sports) yet the Stanley Cup Championship is the hardest of the championships to win and requires the most sacrifice. The players often have to play multiple positions on the very same shift. I've even seen defensemen step in and play goal when the goalie gets caught out of position. The players take physical punishment every time they step on the ice. They don't sit out because they have a broken finger or took a stick to the face. They get a shot of cortisone or stitched up and go right back for more. Rich Peverly wanted to go back in after having a heart attack. Name another major sport where the players do that. The players do it because they love what they do and love their teammates. Does any of this sound familiar?

Mental health workers are probably the lowest paid workers in the medical field, yet they work in some of the toughest environments and with some of the most difficult patients. It is a specialized field and takes a great deal of patience, hard work and mental as well as physical energy to perform well day in and day out.

The staff here are my hockey team. I am grateful to have you as teammates and proud to stand with you and fight along side of you. We all take a beating, yet we all keep coming back for more because we want to make the lives of those we work with better in some way. Every staff member that steps onto the unit, regardless of position, plays a vital role in changing someone's life. My respect for what everyone does day in and day out grows daily. Thank you all for your contribution in making our team successful."

I, for one, concur with the author of this poignant message. I hope everyone in the mental health and addiction fields know how much their fight to improve the lives of others is appreciated. May they all help their clients win their own version of the Stanley Cup.

Dennis Lemieux
It's a great day for hockey
Filed Under:   concussion   mental health   suicide  
September 3, 2015 12:02 AM ET | Delete
Hockey has gotten me through very very dark times
September 3, 2015 8:12 AM ET | Delete
Thanks for Sharing JamI feel this is a very thought out comparisonHockey helped get me through a tough childhood, it was roller hockey but it was still hockeyThose few hours a week for practice and games got me away from my step father for a few hours which was less time he had to whoop on us Thanks for sharing Mental health is a serious issue facing this country and it needs to be addressed for everyone
September 3, 2015 2:37 PM ET | Delete
Good write up. Those people work miracles in one of the toughest jobs out there. It is easier to deal with visible wounds and fin what is wrong. The shame involved in mental wounds makes it tougher for those guys to sniff out what is wrong with someone. They have to reach out and risk the pain of someone taking their own life.
September 4, 2015 4:04 PM ET | Delete
All the other blogs are GONZO!
September 4, 2015 4:25 PM ET | Delete
Can you guys PM me a list of former Blues bloggers (first and last name preferred).Andy StricklandChipRandallCoreyOthers?
September 4, 2015 7:20 PM ET | Delete
I guess by virtue yu are now the Blues blgger.
September 5, 2015 11:16 PM ET | Delete
Another Blues blogger disappears, what is it with Blues bloggers? I mean they are paid by EK right or is it done for free?
September 6, 2015 5:39 AM ET | Delete
geesh still nothing.
September 7, 2015 12:05 PM ET | Delete
I nominate Guru, he is never at a Ioss of words, ha ha ha. Jam put your hat in the ring aIready,
September 8, 2015 12:43 PM ET | Delete
Traverse city blog coming
September 8, 2015 6:58 PM ET | Delete
I guess Ek does not like our money.
September 8, 2015 6:59 PM ET | Delete
Too busy for it. Would have done it last year.
September 8, 2015 10:59 PM ET | Delete
guru- co-bloggers?
September 8, 2015 11:00 PM ET | Delete
September 25, 2015 1:53 PM ET | Delete
stljam i would coblg with you. we have enough difference to make it interesting and enough respect for one another not to go to far. It would make it entertaining and thought provoking. I can even go shock jock now and then to really get it going. James Tanner blogs and he knows nothing about hockey.
September 28, 2015 11:07 PM ET | Delete
HAHAHHAA! No one wants to write for you jackasses anymore.
September 29, 2015 1:56 PM ET | Delete
Missed you, TIJ
July 5, 2019 11:44 PM ET | Delete
Very impressive content thanks to share usSite: https://www.oncallcentral.com/
July 5, 2019 11:45 PM ET | Delete
Thanks for another good health content!Medical Answering Service
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