Acadia athlete finds inspiration in his mental-health struggles to help others

Photo: Peter Oleskevich

Paul Palmeter · CBC News

Garrett McFadden is a university hockey player doing his best to improve the lives of people living with mental illness.

The second-year defenceman with the Acadia Axemen in Wolfville, N.S., is looking to spread a mental-health movement that began in Ontario to Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.

The 22-year-old launched McFadden’s Movement in 2016 when he was playing in the Ontario Hockey League with the Guelph Storm.

“I pitched the idea of setting up a non-profit that would generate awareness for mental health,” said McFadden. “It’s just kind of taken off from there.”

To date, McFadden’s Movement has raised over $46,000 for mental-health resources and has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

McFadden has spoken to dozens of minor hockey organizations and school groups. He’s looking to do the same in Nova Scotia. Part of his messaging is to let kids know there is help for anyone who is struggling with mental illness.

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