You can tell the stigma around mental health in male-dominated industries like hockey is finally breaking, as we hear and read more stories of high-level athletes reaching out for help.

This week, it’s Columbus Blue Jackets star Patrik Laine who has announced that he’s taking time away from the NHL to address his mental health. That makes him the third NHL player to enter the league’s assistance program this season, along with Sam Girard and Nikita Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche.

“We’re starting to get to a place where players are feeling comfortable stepping forward,” ICBA Wellness Ambassador (and newly minted Hockey Canada board member) Corey Hirsch told The Vancouver Province.

Corey noted Laine’s production had dipped and said it’s sometimes a hint that something deeper is off. “That’s an indication of somebody struggling with something. It’s like a kid who gets grade As in school and all of sudden he’s a D student the next year. I was goalie of the NHL all-rookie team (1996) and my stats fell off a cliff the next year (12-20-4, 3.27 goal-against average,.894 saves percentage).”

Kudos to Patrik Laine for getting help. It’s brave, important, and inspiring.

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 for details.