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Canucks' Tyler Motte opens up about mental health struggles

Thomas Williams
Hockey writer
Tyler Motte shares his personal story with mental health. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

Vancouver Canucks forward Tyler Motte hopes to end the stigma surrounding mental health.

In a video released by the Canucks on Wednesday afternoon, the 24-year-old details his journey of being diagnossed with anxiety and depression, and explains how he’s hoping to influence others who suffer.

Motte acknowledges that the sport is not necessarily the most ideal place to talk about mental health.

“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. My only input on that is that it’s not a weakness,” Motte said.

Feeling “lower and lower” in his second year of professional hockey, Motte decided — with help from his loved ones — to talk to someone about what he was going through.

Now in his fourth year, he recognizes his journey and growth.

“I’ve come to accept that it’s something I’ll deal with for the rest of my life, but I still have the ability to influence it.”

Hockey Talks, a mental health initiative that was launched in 2013 following the death of former Canucks forward Rick Rypien, leaves Motte optimistic about the ability to create a space without stigma within the sport.

"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 play their seventh annual Hockey Talks game Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes. Motte has three goals and five points in 20 games this season.

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