YARMOUTH, Maine — The girls Yarmouth-Freeport and the boys Yarmouth varsity hockey teams are hosting a doubleheader on Saturday, January 26 at the Travis Roy Arena in Yarmouth to raise awareness about mental health. The girls play at 5:30 followed by the boys at 7, both against Gorham High School.
An assistant coach for the Yarmouth-Freeport girls hockey team is organizing the event. Devan Kane has been on a mission to speak at schools and put on fundraisers like the doubleheader to raise awareness about mental health after her own struggles.
Kane was prepared to play division-1 hockey at Sacred Heart, but then she got injured. "When I went to school I ended up getting knee surgery right off the bat, so I was kind of instantly taken out of the game."
Being benched because of her physical health took a toll on her mental health. "I learned that hockey was my coping mechanism so when I lost that I felt like I really collapsed internally, and at the same time I felt I had no one to talk to."
Ultimately, she did speak out, turning to her trainers and coaches for support. Now, she's sharing her story and with the hopes of helping other young athletes.
"I want these kids to know what I didn't know in high school, which is that it's ok to talk about it, and it's ok to say, I don't feel great, or I'm not ok."
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences mental illness every year, starting mostly before age 24.
The players will sport lime green, which represents mental illness, during the hockey games.
There will be a lot of opportunities to raise money for mental illness during the games, including a chance to throw a pie in the face of a coach!
The proceeds will go to the Maine branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness which offers a variety of services including visiting schools after tragedy strikes.