‘A Battle No One Knows About’: Canada’s First Inuk NHL Player Jordin Tootoo Speaks Candidly About Mental Health
Former professional hockey player Jordin Tootoo lost his brother to suicide. Today, he’s committed to starting a national conversation about addiction and mental health. CBC News caught up with him to discuss his meaningful work in suicide prevention.
“Every Indigenous person I've met has been touched or affected by suicide [...] We all fight a battle no one knows about,” says Jordin Tootoo. He includes himself in this statement. After the loss of his older brother Terence, who died by suicide in 2002 after being charged with impaired driving, Tootoo struggled with addiction and deteriorating mental health. Now nine years sober, Tootoo is a staunch mental health advocate who speaks openly about his struggles in order to encourage others to do the same. “I think it really opens up those communication lines for not only students but, you know, our communities in the far north to say, ‘Hey, you know, if Jordin can open up on a public level, so can we,’” he said.
Tootoo also spoke about the importance of inclusion—in hockey and beyond. “For teams or individuals to be successful you’re going to have to lean on your teammates, your co-workers,” Tootoo said.
Watch his full interview here.
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