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

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

Hockey Talks is an initiative dedicated to promoting mental health and wellness, raising awareness and helping break the stigma surrounding mental health.

Before taking on the Pens, the Capitals host a pregame mental wellbeing panel for student-athletes affiliated with Morgan’s Message.

The panel will include Capital’s senior director of team and organizational development Dr. Aimee Kimball, MedStar Health physician executive director for behavioral health Dr. Steven Epstein, Georgetown University Athletics Chief of Athletic Advisory Services Dr. Erica Force, and Howard University Women’s Lacrosse Ambassador Taylor Matthews.

The team’s press release for the evening describes Morgan’s Message as “an organization focused on student-athletes and mental health.” It adds that their mission is “to amplify stories, resources and expertise to empower student-athlete mental health, build community by and for athletes through peer-to-peer conversations and to 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 100 and 400 level hall. Fans are encouraged to visit the table for resources and for the opportunity to fill out a Hockey Talks board in support of mental health awareness.

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

Here’s the team’s full press release with further initiatives you should definitely check out:

Capitals is hosting hockey talks in conjunction with MedStar Health on January 26

ARLINGTON, VA – The Washington Capitals will host their third Hockey Talks Mental Health Awareness Night in conjunction 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 the topic.

In partnership with Morgan’s Message, an organization focused on student-athletes and mental health, the Capitals are hosting a pregame mental wellness panel for student-athletes affiliated with Morgan’s Message. Morgan’s Message’s mission is to amplify stories, resources, and expertise to empower student-athlete mental health, build community by and for athletes through peer-to-peer conversation, and to provide a platform offer for advocacy.

The panel will include Capital’s senior director of team and organizational development Dr. Aimee Kimball, MedStar Health physician executive director for behavioral health Dr. Steven Epstein, Georgetown University Athletics Chief of Athletic Advisory Services Dr. Erica Force, and Women’s Lacrosse Ambassador at Howard University Taylor Matthews, who founded the Howard Chapter of Morgan’s Message in 2022 and serves as the chapter’s president.

Capitals in-game messaging and social media will feature content related to mental health, including player PSAs, a feature on Morgan’s Message, a feature on Capitals alumnus Aaron Volpatti, and more. There will also be an information table about the 100 and 400 floor hall. Fans are encouraged to visit the table for resources and for the opportunity to fill out a Hockey Talks board in support of mental health awareness. Players will wear the Hockey Talks decal on their helmets to further raise awareness around mental health.

In addition, the Capitals will highlight the Sydney’s Scholarship Art Auction through a video feature on January 26. Card artist Luke Weaverling, aka Luke the Cardist, is hosting an auction of cards signed by Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, TJ Oshie and Alex Ovechkin on cardsforsydney.com in support of the Sydney E. Holcomb Memorial South Carroll Stagelighters Scholarship. The auction opens on January 26 at 7 p.m. and ends on Thursday, February 2 at 7 p.m. The scholarship was established in 2021 to assist drama students in their transition from high school to college in honor of Sydney Holcomb. Holcomb was a Capitals fan whose favorite player was TJ Oshie. Holcomb and her mother collected hockey cards together as a hobby.

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

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

Featured photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB

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

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