December 3, 2019 by Speakers' Spotlight
Former NHL Player Clint Malarchuk Speaks Out on Mental Illness and Sports
As a former NHL goaltender, Clint Malarchuk not only faced crushing pressure to perform but also suffered from high anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and depression. His career was almost cut short when he received a traumatic, life-threatening injury from a skate slicing across his neck. In a new NBC documentary, Clint and fellow professional athletes are banding together to break the stigma behind mental illness in sport.
In Headstrong: Mental Health and Sports, Clint shares a snapshot into his extraordinary and heart-wrenching life story, diving deep into his accident that left him plagued with nightmares that would make him re-live the traumatic event night after night.
Clint has almost died three time. Once on the ice, once by ingesting a mixture of drugs and alcohol, and once by an attempt to shoot himself in the head in 2008.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Clint said, “You kind of reflect on that, and I use the phrase that I figured God spared me for those still suffering. To be walking around with a bullet in my head is kind of incredible. It makes you reflect on things.”
It’s also one of the reasons that he now shares his story with audiences across North America so he can not only help end the stigma of mental illness but also help others who may suffer as well.
“With athletes, we’re kind of depicted as really tough. We do not want to admit that we are struggling in any way because of the stigma. Mental illness is real, and it’s out there,” Clint says in his documentary. “Most people think it’s a weakness, you’re not weak. You’re sick!”
Both Clint and his wife were featured in the NBC documentary, speaking about life after trauma and how therapy has helped him heal.
Clint Malarchuk: Living Through a Traumatic Event
Clint Malarchuk: Dealing with tragedy with EMDR therapy
Interested in learning more about Clint and what he can bring to your next event? Email us at [email protected].