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Hockey Talks - How the Kraken Aim to End Stigma around Mental Health! | Local Lens Seattle

Kraken players share their real-life experiences with mental health. Sponsored by Premera

SEATTLE — I’m back at Climate Pledge Arena for another Kraken game and I couldn’t be more excited! 🏒

This one visit was super special as it focused on something more than just hockey. The title for the night was ‘Hockey Talks Mental Health Awareness Night.’

The theme: “it’s ok to not be ok.”

Premera Blue Cross partnered with the Seattle Kraken for the event to raise awareness about mental health. Premera’s campaign, featured on Hockey Talks, includes Kraken players sharing their real-life experiences with mental health. The goal with Hockey Talks is to eliminate the stigma around mental health.

According to the National Association on Mental Health, eight in 10 workers say shame and stigma prevent them from seeking treatment for a mental health condition. During the game 18,000 Kraken flags were handed out, 80% being teal and 20% being white. The colors represent the one in five Americans who are impacted by mental health issues. A video from Kraken player Riley Sheahan discussed his mental health journey. Sheahan co-hosts a podcast called ‘Speak Your Mind,” which spreads awareness about mental health and encourages people to feel comfortable about speaking up. The NHL also hopes to create an environment where people talk about mental health just like any hockey injury or illness. NHL teams are banding together to raise awareness. The program was inspired by a former Vancouver Canucks player, Rick Rypien, who experienced depression at a young age and ultimately died in August 2011.

The Kraken and other teams hope by shining a light on this important subject that impacts so many, people will feel comfortable asking for help.

You can use #HockeyTalks to join the conversation alongside NHL players and help end the stigma.

Click here to learn more about how Premera is addressing mental health issues and find resources for care.

Mental health is not the only focus at Seattle Kraken games this month. Premera and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health are also helping fans stay ahead of their physical health with free COVID booster clinics before the game.

This video is sponsored by Premera Blue Cross.

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