Students at North West Central School in Plenty were given a presentation yesterday in the gymnasium:
Erin Swan is the school counsellor at North West Central School out of Plenty, and was eager to consult with the school's administration about having McGrath and his speaking series come and share with the school's Grade 7-12 students after seeing some of his prior work on social media.
"DJay covered his story as an elite athlete growing up in Kindersley, eventually being drafted to the WHL. He included the pressures that he faced moving away from family, friends and supports in high school. He began to struggle with some of those pressures and started to notice some mental health struggles popping up, in terms of anxiety and depression. This was despite being a successful hockey player, who seemingly had it all going right for him. He started to use alcohol and then drugs instead of coping with those feelings. His underlying message is to reach out and talk about struggles you are having. Mental health struggles can impact anyone, it does not discriminate."
Swan is just another person touched by McGrath's story. The talk reached a good target age of students, as even though some of those youth are not yet perhaps in the high stress age, giving them some advice to reach out if things get too tough is a message that has to be spread.
This goes to the older youth as well who are sometimes struggling with the pressures of school, sports, and the added pressure of drugs and alcohol as they get older.
McGrath has been working his way around the province (and even other parts of Canada) for his mental health advocacy campaign, and you can read some of our previous work with him in the related articles below: