(Photo:Wikimedia Commons)

The Vancouver Canucks donated $50,000 to the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Foundation in the name of one of its former players, Rick Rypien, in an effort to raise awareness of mental illness. In the wake of Rypien’s suicide this past August, it was revealed that the 27-year-old enforcer had struggled with depression for a decade.

The donation also includes support from the NHL Players Association’s Goals & Dreams fund, which supports a mental health promotion program for youth by British Columbia health agencies.

“Rick Rypien was dedicated to helping young people and those in need,” said TC Carling, executive director of the Canucks for Kids Fund. “Through this partnership … and the support of the Vancouver Canucks we can work together to ensure Rick’s passion to help those in need is well served.”

As CT Daily previously reported, doctors are speculating whether the concussions and other traumatic brain injuries that hockey players incur might be linked to bouts of depression. In addition to Rypien, there have been two other suicides in the NHL since May: players Derek Boogaard  and Wade Belak.

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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