“I’m not ashamed to say I’m mentally ill, but that doesn’t mean I’m mentally weak.”
Robin Lehner, goalie for the New York Islanders revealed 9 months ago that he was battling with bipolar disorder and substance abuse issues. Earlier this week Lehner won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
I applaud Lehner for having the courage to come forward and share his personal journey, As a professional athlete, particularly in a contact sport like hockey, his actions can go a long way in ending the stigma around mental illness and seeking treatment. His courage will allow other athletes to seek treatment instead of being forced to live with their demons out of fear of being called weak by their peers.