Canucks' Motte reveals battle with depression, wants to end stigma in sports
Tyler Motte hopes his story can inspire others in need.
The Vancouver Canucks forward revealed he was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in an inspirational video posted by the team Wednesday.
Motte opened up about feeling "lower and lower" during his second pro season until he couldn't find the energy to get out of bed and to the rink. Growing frustrated by the way he was feeling, Motte took his girlfriend's advice and sought psychological help.
"It's not necessarily about telling my story," Motte said. "It's about to help that one person or those handful of people that need to know they're not alone in it."
The 24-year-old understands he's been given a unique platform as a professional athlete and is pushing to end the stigma surrounding mental health in sports.
"In sports and hockey there's this mindset that we've come to adapt to where it's all about being mentally strong and not showing weakness," Motte said.
He added, "For me, just accepting and saying out loud that I was diagnosed with depression and had a mental health issue, that was the first weight off my shoulders."
Hockey Talks is a mental health initiative that was launched in 2013 following the death of former NHL forward Rick Rypien, and Motte is optimistic about its potential to turn sport into a space where these important discussions can be facilitated.
"With the support of individuals, teams, communities, I think the stigma is going to shrink drastically. It'll turn it into an opportunity where people can come to fully understand what some people go through, and I think that's really the purpose of Hockey Talks."
The Canucks will host their seventh annual Hockey Talks game Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes.