Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

This Friday, ICBA launches a six-city speaking tour with Corey Hirsch, our ICBA Wellness ambassador for 2022. (Yes, we’re following all B.C. COVID-19 protocols and rules.) Corey also provides content for our ICBA Wellness program.

Having gotten to know Corey a bit over the past few months, he’s a remarkable guy. Honest, kind, funny, and generous with his time. I’ve seen him in a boardroom with tough-as-nails business owners, chatting away, until these owners are spilling their guts about their own mental health challenges. There’s something about Corey that draws these conversations into the light in a gentle, authentic way.

If you don’t know his story, Corey is a former NHL goaltender, coach and an Olympic Games silver medalist. But most importantly, he opened a conversation to end the stigma around mental health, especially among athletes and young men.

In 1994, just three years after being drafted by the New York Rangers, Corey both won a silver medal and drank from the Stanley Cup as a member of the Rangers’ championship team. What no one knew was that Corey tried to take his own life that same year.

Months later, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks and went on to play 100 more NHL games, before finishing his career in Europe. The entire time, he struggled with his mental health issues. When he could no longer play due to debilitating panic attacks and severe weight loss, he finally reached out to his team trainer. Corey was eventually diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and got the lifesaving treatment that he needed.

Corey would go on to coach goaltenders with the Maple Leafs and Blues, before joining Sportsnet Radio to do colour commentary for the Canucks.

In February 2017, Corey wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune, sharing publicly his mental health diagnosis and suicide attempt. His story sparked important conversations within hockey and beyond, as more athletes began to open up about mental health.

Today, Corey is an advocate in the battle to end the stigma around mental health. He is an engaging speaker that educates, motivates, and inspires his audience. He gives hope to others struggling by showing vulnerability and letting people know they are not alone.

If you get a chance, come hear Corey speak at an upcoming ICBA event. Or try his outstanding Blindsided podcast. It’s worth your time.

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.