Various NHL teams have promoted mental heath awareness games this week, including the Carolina Hurricanes. As they spread the word of the importance of mental health for those in all walks of life, the hockey world is once again appropriately lauding a player who has taken time away from the game to restore a themselves. Slater Koekkoek has released a statement addressing his struggles with his mental health specifically surrounding his eating habits.
I would be remised if I failed to mention that if you, or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please take time, seek professional help, and remember that you are not alone in this.
As you can read, Slater Koekkoek dealt with issues around his eating, and the mental anguish that comes with eating disorders.
Eating disorders have a huge impact on millions of people, and effect not only your physical health but your mental state of mind as well. Compound that, in the case of Slater Koekkoek, with being a professional athlete and you will have a dangerous spiral that can lead to serious long term damage.
The NIMH states that “People with eating disorders are at higher risk for suicide and medical complications. People with eating disorders can often have other mental disorders (such as depression or anxiety) or problems with substance use. Complete recovery is possible.”
Still, we can once again, take some solace in yet another professional athlete like Slater Koekkoek or Marc-Andre Fleury stepping away from hockey to take care of themselves. Their actions should be encouraging for everyone who struggles with mental health issues of any kind. We all should also recognize these issues are all manageable, and people suffering from them can recover to lead healthy lives.
If you are experiencing an eating disorder brought about or causing mental health issues, please know you are not alone. Know too that you can take a step away, seek help, and support.
Professionals can provide care.
If you or someone you love is experiencing (or showing signs of) an eating disorder, seek help from your doctor, or professional. Start with THIS FREE SCREENING from the National Eating Disorders Association.