Capitals is hosting The Hockey Talks Mental Health Awareness Night on January 26th

The Washington Capitals will host their third Mental Health Awareness Night of Hockey Talks on January 26 when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena. The team will do so in partnership with MedStar Health and Morgan’s Message.

Hockey Talks is an initiative focused on promoting mental health and wellness, raising awareness, and helping end stigma around mental health.

Before the Capitals take over the pens, they’ll host a pre-game mental wellness panel for student-athletes linked to Morgan’s letter.

The panel will feature Senior Director of the Capitals Organizational Development Team, Dr. Amy Kimball, MedStar Health Executive Director of Behavioral Health Dr. Stephen Epstein, Georgetown President of Sports Counseling Services Dr. Erica Force, and Howard University Women’s Lacrosse Ambassador. Taylor Mathews.

Tonight’s team press release describes Morgan’s message as “an organization focused on student-athletes and mental health.” Their mission, he adds, “is to amplify stories, resources and experiences to enhance the mental health of students and athletes, build a community by and for athletes through peer conversations and provide a platform for advocacy.”

In addition, there will be in-game messaging and social media content related to mental health and an information table will be available in the concourse of the 100 and 400. Fans are encouraged to visit the table for resources and for the opportunity to fill out the Hockey Talks sign in support of mental health awareness.

Players will also wear Hockey Talks badges on their helmets to raise awareness.

Here’s the full press release from the team that includes other initiatives you should definitely check out:

The Capitals host Hockey Talks in partnership with MedStar Health on January 26

Arlington, Virginia – The Washington Capitals will host their third Hockey Talk Mental Health Awareness Night in partnership with MedStar Health on January 26 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hockey Talks is an initiative that focuses on promoting mental health and wellness and encourages teams to use their platform to continue the conversation and share resources on this topic.

In association with Morgan’s Message, an organization focused on student-athletes and mental health, the Capitals are hosting a pre-game mental wellness panel for student-athletes affiliated with Morgan’s Message. Morgan’s mission is to amplify stories, resources, and experiences to strengthen student-athletes’ mental health, build community by and for athletes through peer-to-peer conversations, and provide a platform for advocacy.

The panel will feature Senior Director of the Capitals Organizational Development Team, Dr. Amy Kimball, MedStar Health Executive Director of Behavioral Health Dr. Stephen Epstein, Georgetown President of Sports Counseling Services Dr. Erica Force, and Howard University Women’s Lacrosse Ambassador. Taylor Matthews, who founded the Howard Chapter of Morgan’s Message in 2022 and serves as chapter president.

In-game messages and social media will feature content related to mental health, including public service announcements for players, a feature on Morgan’s letter, a feature on Capitals alumnus Aaron Volpatti, and more. There will also be an information table about the concourse of 100 and 400. Fans are encouraged to visit the table for resources and for the opportunity to fill out the Hockey Talks sign in support of mental health awareness. Players will wear the Hockey Talks sticker on their helmets to raise awareness about mental health.

In addition, The Capitals will highlight the Sydney Scholarship Art Auction with a video feature on January 26th. Card artist Luke Weaverling, aka Luke the Cardist, is hosting an auction featuring cards signed by Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, TJ Oshie and Alex Ovechkin at Cardsforsydney.com in support of the Sydney E. Holcomb Memorial South Carroll Stagelighters Scholarship. The auction will open at 7pm on January 26th and end at 7pm on Thursday, February 2nd. The scholarship was created in 2021 to aid and assist drama students in their transition from high school to college in honor of Sidney Holcomb. Holcomb was a Capitals fan and his favorite player was TJ Oshie. Holcomb and her mother collected hockey cards as a hobby together.

Fans can join the conversation online using the hashtag #HockeyTalks. For more information about the initiatives, visit washcaps.com/hockeytalks.

The Hockey Talks mental health awareness initiative began in 2013, following the tragic departure of Canucks player Rick Rypien in 2011. Rick was a hockey hero, son, brother, teammate, and friend. Rick’s desire was to support others and help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by being a spokesperson for the cause. The Capitals’ first Mental Health Awareness Night of Hockey Talks took place in 2020.

Banner photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB

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