Mental health is often perceived as a highly taboo subject should not be discussed. In reality, mental health issues can be as simple as stress or depression caused by a big life change or the pressure of working in an intense environment, but still, few people try to talk about it. Binghamton Devils forward Nate Schnarr decided to become an ambassador for McFadden’s movement to break the stigma and help spread positive awareness about mental health in sports.
McFadden’s Movement is a non-profit started in 2016 by Schnarr’s Guelph Storm teammate, Garrett McFadden. The movement aims to eliminate the negative stigma of mental health that surrounds athletes by emphasizing the significance of talking about issues and encouraging those who may feel ashamed to speak up.
Since starting McFadden’s Movement, McFadden has discussed his personal story regarding mental health with hockey teams and schools. He also has worked to raise money for various mental health resources, including a free online counseling service called WES for Youth Online.
Working through his own struggles with the stress and pressure that a young, professional athlete may feel, Schnarr related with his Storm teammate, who eventually asked him to become an original MM27 ambassador. Because of his respect for McFadden, as well as his history, Schnarr gladly accepted his role model’s offer and he was thrilled to do what he could for the movement.
“I think it’s an issue in society that has to be talked about and if I can make a small impact, it can change someone’s life,” Schnarr said.