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New program helps NHL players strengthen their mental health knowledge and skills

By Kelli Rickard Jan 17, 2024 | 11:33 AM

The National Hockey League Players’ Association has officially launched a mental health program – a first of its kind in professional sports.

FIRST LINE was developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the NHLPA’s Health and Wellness Team specifically for NHL players.

This course covers common mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety; peer-to-peer support; and the stigma of mental illness and how to combat it.

Consulting psychologist to the NHLPA and former NHL player, Dr. Jay Harrison, says the goal “is that all players who complete FIRST LINE training will be empowered to advocate for their own mental health while being supportive of fellow players and others.”

So far, about 20 NHL players have completed the education and leadership program.