ICBA Alberta held their first big event last week, and former NHL goalie-turned-mental health advocate Clint Malarchuk gave a stirring keynote. Malarchuk’s story of PTSD following a horrific skate cut, addiction, then two suicide attempts, is remarkable for how it ends: with hope and health.

Bleacher Report recaps his story HERE. “I thought I could just go on like nothing ever happened, because that’s who I was: the Cowboy Goalie, the tough guy. I thought I could handle anything that came my way now. Not quite, it turned out,” said Malarchuk, who nearly died on the ice and needed 300 stitches when his jugular was cut by a skate in 1989.

After hitting rock bottom, he worked with a psychiatrist, who finally helped him break through. “I broke down in her office and kept on crying for about three days.” He said. “She helped me realize that I was sick, not crazy. I was mentally ill, not mentally weak. I realized that it was OK to cry a little. I didn’t have to be the guy anymore who thought he couldn’t let anyone see any pain.”

Our genuine hope for ICBA Wellness is that we can start these mental health conversations on construction sites BEFORE addiction or despair or suicide ideation takes place.

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 100 companies and more than 10,000 construction professionals better understand mental health. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.