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Skating around the stigma: B-Devil raises awareness for mental health

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- When Nate Schnarr was traded to the Binghamton Devils last December, he brought more than just his skills on the ice.

Schnarr is an ambassador for McFadden's Movement, a nonprofit organization breaking the stigma surrounding athletes and mental health.

"You look at hockey players, and you think tough and athletic, and no emotions," said Schnarr. "But you do wear a lot of emotions, life wears on you, hockey wears on you, your job, everything. It's all about the stigma and being able to talk about it."

Schnarr was one of the organization's original ambassadors, joining in 2017 after his teammate (and founder) Garrett McFadden asked if he was interested.

"He asked me to be an ambassador and use my social media platform to speak out and create awareness about that. I happily jumped onto the movement," said Schnarr.

The organization raises awareness and holds events, fundraising for mental health resources. The movement recently launched a new program called the Ambassador's Campaign, which Schnarr takes part in.

Schnarr explained, "we all created our own slogan that kind of means something near and dear to us." Schnarr's slogan is "Climb Mountains," which he says is about overcoming adversity, and overcoming odds.

According to the website, McFadden's Movement has raised over $46,000 for mental health resources.

Schnarr said the Binghamton Devils have gotten behind him, showing their support since he brought the movement to Binghamton.

"I post something and it's reposted by Binghamton every time. I think that means so much to not only me, but to feel that support and they're helping break the stigma."

Schnarr hopes using his voice will encourage others, and show them it's okay for them to use theirs.

"If I can change one person's life and be there for one person and change their attitude toward mental health, that would mean the world to me and that's why I do this."

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Nicole Menner

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