HomeSports NewsBringing Hockey to Veterans: Ryan Malone's Goal for Mental Health Awareness

Bringing Hockey to Veterans: Ryan Malone’s Goal for Mental Health Awareness


Ryan Malone, a former NHL player, has dedicated his post-hockey career to promoting mental health and wellness for veterans and first responders through Warrior Hockey Academies. Malone, who had a successful career on the ice, scoring at least 20 goals in six of his eight seasons, faced struggles with substance abuse. During his recovery, he formed a connection with veterans in Tampa and recognized the shared struggles that formed a bond between them. After retiring and becoming sober, Malone wanted to find a way to bring hockey to the Wounded Warriors community across the United States.

Through the Malone Family Foundation, Malone aims to raise awareness for the mental health challenges faced by veterans and first responders. He believes that bringing hockey to these individuals can be beneficial due to the skills required in the game stimulating parts of the brain that need stimulation. Malone has organized “Hockey Is Healing” events, including one in Pittsburgh this week, where former teammates and individuals from sports communities will participate. The event is part of “Black & Gold Breaking the Mold” week and coincides with MTV’s Mental Health Action Day.

While Malone is surprised that not all NHL franchises have Warrior programs, he hopes to change that. Currently, only eight NHL franchises fund a Warriors program. Malone’s goal is for every NHL team to have a Warrior program supported by the league and the team itself. He also hopes to involve NHL alumni in supporting these initiatives and using hockey as a means to help those in need. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Malone’s former team, may not have a Warrior program, but they have shown support for his efforts on social media and have donated items for silent auctions.

For Malone, his work promoting mental health and wellness for veterans and first responders is more gratifying than any Stanley Cup victory. He believes he is fulfilling his purpose on this planet by serving those in need through hockey.

In conclusion, Ryan Malone’s journey from NHL player to mental health advocate showcases his passion for helping veterans and first responders. Through Warrior Hockey Academies and the Malone Family Foundation, he aims to raise awareness and provide support for those facing mental health challenges. By using hockey as a tool for healing, Malone hopes to bring about positive change and ensure that every NHL team has a Warrior program. His dedication and commitment to this cause make him a true advocate for mental health in the sports community.

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