GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT News)-- Philip Flink spends most of his days on the ice as the captain of CMU’s men’s hockey team. But he also shares a passion for mental health awareness.
“Talking about it is the only way to try to get help, because if you don’t get help it’s just going to make everything worse,” says Flink.
Philip is now opening up about his sister Madison, who completed suicide seven years ago.
“She was 17, she was three months away from graduating high school. She was struggling with depression and it was something that I never really even knew about. A lot of people that you see take their own life, they are the ones smiling the most and seem the happiest. But everyone is dealing with something on the inside,” says Flink.
It has had a deep impact on his life. He says he now realizes many others have also walked in Madison’s shoes.
“Before that I was kind of a negative and pessimistic person and from this I’ve learned just to enjoy this life,” says Flink, “People are afraid to speak up. They think they’ll get laughed at or ridiculed or that they’re just looking for attention. But it’s something that’s extremely serious here in Colorado and across the world,”
He’s now partnering with West Springs Hospital here in Grand Junction- together spreading awareness and raising funds for treating mental health.
Friday night there will be two awareness events. At 4 p.m. West Springs Hospital will host a free reception for the public to come learn about the mental health services available. Those heading to West Springs for the reception can also bring a memorial photo of a loved one they have lost to mental illness or substance addiction and light a candle in their memory.
Following the reception, the hockey team will be playing against Air Force at Glacier Ice Arena starting at 7 p.m.
For every goal scored, Conquest Construction will donate $100 and a portion of the gate fee will help fund mental health services in Mesa County. You can also make personal donations.
“It’s not so much about the money, more just the awareness and having people talk about it because it’s something not many people are comfortable talking about,” says Flink. “I hope it just inspires people to go get help, to ask for help…. No one wants to lose their sister. No one wants to lose their friend,”