Mental illness in Sports: The Wade Belak Tragedy

Mental illness in Sports: The Wade Belak Tragedy

Learn about the psychological factors that may have contributed to Wade Belak’s suicide and my perspective regarding the intersections between mental health and sports culture, and the need for increased awareness of these issues.

Read my latest article in the Good Men Project Magazine on the role that being a hockey enforcer played in the recent deaths of three players-most recently Wade Belak-and the impact of professional sports on athletes’ mental health.

Listen to my conversation with Jeff Sammut on the Jeff Sammut Show on Sportsnet Radio the Fan590 (Canada’s # 1 sports talk radio station) where we discuss the death of Wade Belak and mental illness in athletes.

Topics discussed include:

-Lack of awareness surrounding mental health: If you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist

-Assumptions we have about athletes being immune from mental health difficulties

-Unique challenges men face when it comes to mental illness

- Specific occupational stressors in sports that lend themselves to mental illness

-The role of hockey enforcer and its impact on mental health

***A correction: I had mistakenly said that of the 90% of suicide victims having a mental illness, 15% were men. The correct statistic is that 15-25% of suicides by patients with severe mood disorders suffer from major depression and bipolar depression. ***

Source: Canadian Mental Health Association

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