From left to right, Kamloops Storm captain Therann Kincross, Corey Hirsch, a retired NHL goalie and mental health advocate, Diane Routheir of Tombe Herrington Chartered Professional Accountants LLP, KIJHL commisioner Larry Martel, and Kelowna Chiefs co-captain Myles Mattila, founder of MindRight.info, gather at centre ice for a puck drop ceremony to recognize mental health awareness. Tombe Herrington Chartered Professional Accountants LLP, a sponsor of the Storm, covered the expenses for the mental health awareness jerseys. KIJHL media photo
Corey Hirsch thinks highly of Myles Mattila, the founder and director of MindRight.info.
The retired NHL goalie and mental health advocate met Mattila two years ago not long after his Players Tribune story published.
Hirsch loves that the Kelowna Chiefs co-captain has taken it upon himself to help athletes after seeing a minor hockey teammate in Prince George not get the proper support.
“Myles is a beast in the mental health world. I mean he really is,” says Hirsch, a Vancouver Canucks radio colour analyst on Sportsnet650, while in Kamloops to watch his son Hayden and the Storm played the Chiefs. “For what he has done at his age, for how many years so far, it’s incredible. We need a lot more kids like him to take initiative. To have him play in this league, what a great ambassador.”
Hirsch is proud of what Mattila has done, especially without the celebrity status or fanfare.
“I was blessed enough to play in the NHL. I got a little bit of a bigger platform,” says Hirsch. “He had done it from nothing, from scratch, which is absolutely incredible. A kid that just had a vision and a goal. He is getting it done.”
Hirsch, who joined Mattila for a Q & A on mental health put on by the Storm, says it is hard for players to admit that they are struggling and they are trying to figure stuff out. Hirsch says to have someone that’s a role model, that understands like Mattila, is absolutely incredible.
Mattila is thankful the Storm held a mental health awareness event. They even made custom mental health jerseys which Mattila says are really fantastic.
“It’s awesome to see because that’s one extra team sharing the message and starting that initiative,” says Mattila, who is trying to raise funds on www.mindright.info and is seeking people to volunteer or get involved. “Hopefully they have a few more mental health games within this upcoming year. I am really fortunate and also being able to speak at this event, with Corey was truly fantastic. To have a platform, a stage to share my story, share my initiative and get individuals to hear about the project I’m doing and get collaborations which is truly key.”
Mattila and Hirsch have had discussions to work together. Mattila continues his focus of working within the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and B.C. communities to raise awareness on mental health.