Myles Mattila wins B.C. Achievement Community Award

Former Quesnel resident Myles Mattila, captain of the Kelowna Chiefs and creator of the MindRight for Athletes Society, is one of 25 people across the province to be honoured with the 2020 B.C. Achievement Community Award. (MindRight photo)

Myles Mattila wins B.C. Achievement Community Award

The hockey player and creator of MindRight for Athletes Society is one of 25 winners

The B.C. Achievement Foundation’s Community Award celebrates British Columbians who go above and beyond in their service towards building stronger communities throughout the province.

“The Community Award is the cornerstone of B.C. Achievement’s mission to honour excellence and inspire achievement in the province of B.C.,” according to the B.C. Achievement Foundation’s website. “The award recognizes the contributions of extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger, more resilient communities and shine as examples of dedication and service.”

We are all a part of one or more communities which we have the ability to grow and strengthen through positive action, and few British Columbians have shown their ability to do so more than hockey player and mental health ambassador Myles Mattila.

Mattila, originally from Quesnel who is now living in Kelowna, is one of 25 recipients of this year’s prestigious B.C. Achievement Community Award for his mental health advocacy, concussion awareness and civic engagement.

“I actually had no idea that I was nominated for it, so it was quite the surprise,” said Mattila. “I thought it was fantastic and it really added some positivity, especially in a tough time like this with self-isolation and not being able to connect with others — having this type of positivity was fantastic, and I was really honoured to be one of the recipients of the award.”

Mattila became involved in mental health advocacy at the young age of 14 when he observed a hockey teammate was going through a rough time and in an effort to help his friend, reached out to their coach for help.

Unfortunately, their coach did not have the knowledge or training needed to handle the situation and resolved to remove the distressed teen from the team rather than find avenues to improve his mental health.

This was absolutely not the result that Mattila wanted or expected, and from that day on, he began to educate himself on mental health. In the years that followed, Mattila created the MindRight for Athletes Society, a non-profit organization that strives to promote wellness and positive living by increasing community awareness of and education in mental health and connecting young athletes to the mental health resources they may need.

“I was really passionate about just trying to raise awareness around the topic, making sure that people know they are not alone and that if they do need to speak out, they can do it in an environment where it is safe to do so,” said Mattila.

Recently, MindRight presented its inaugural Grant Sheridan Scholarship to Beaver Valley Nighthawks captain Angus Amadio. The annual $1,500 award is presented to a KIJHL player who has proven strong community involvement and exhibits academic excellence and leadership qualities.

Mattila, who has played for the Kelowna Chiefs for the past three years and last season served as captain, created the scholarship through MindRight in partnership with the KIJHL as a way to honour the Chiefs’ former president and general manager, who passed away last year after contracting bacterial meningitis.

Mattila attributes Sheridan with leaving a profound mark on his life and helping to grow the MindRight Society.

“When he passed away, I was quite devastated — he was the first individual that was very selfless on helping me grow the MindRight initiative,” said Mattila. “When I moved to Kelowna, I was searching for opportunities to play hockey and go to school, and I wanted to make sure that my mental health initiatives were still a priority for me, and that’s the first thing Grant mentioned with me. He was willing to share his expertise and help me out through this journey at no cost — he just wanted to do it to help me better myself and the community, and I think that really sums up Grant Sheridan. He was selfless.”

Looking forward, Mattila is focusing on completing his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management specialty at the Okanagan College campus in Kelowna and hopes to pursue further education, eventually earning his MBA.

The recipients of the 2020 Community Award will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony in Victoria, in the presence of B.C. Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin. Each recipient will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by B.C. artist Robert Davidson. Due to COVID-19, the ceremony planned for the end of April has been postponed to a future date to be announced.


Article originally appeared on

Jan 15 Hockey Talk about Mental Health


Jan 15, 2020 Hockeytalk with Myles Mattila 1st intermission at Vancouver Canucks game

Transcript from Radio Broadcast- Jan 15/2020

It is hockey talks here on Rogers arena tonight. And we have a very special guest joining us right here on SportsNet . Here with Myles Mattila, the founder of mindright for athletes, society and founder and director . Thanks for joining us. I know it’s a special day hockey talks and something this organization has taken very seriously because go back a few years, a lot of things that happened, but tell us a little bit about what inspired you to create MindRight For athletes?. I would have to say how I got involved with mental health. I would have to say,I had a close friend played on the same hockey team. He was going through a mental illness and at that time, at the age of 14, you didn’t really know what that was.

And I wanted to reach out to my family and, and the hockey coach. And, he didn’t get the proper support that he needed. And the coach actually kicked him off the hockey team, which is super unfortunate. I never wanted to see that. It really opened my eyes about what type of mental health resources that we need within athletes and especially within the hockey system. So I wanted to create mindright for athletes society to make sure that players are getting looked after and make sure that there’s resources out there, but they’re getting connected, proper support. Well, you’re right, because sometimes what happens is we see somebody act and behave a certain way. We don’t understand why and we don’t know why. It’s easy to cast that person aside and blame them. And it’s nice to see somebody like you’ve gone through that experience, take that to heart and try to help others out because it’s easy to just look at somebody and say, Oh, something’s wrong with that person, but there’s a reason why they’re feeling the way they are.

I totally agree. And I think, I think having the knowledge around mental health is really important and sometimes, some people might just think we have that education or those tools, but sometimes it’s not always the case. And for me with mindright, I’m trying to really educate young individuals with early intervention and trying to go into middle schools and high schools and try to start this conversation in hopes of there if they see themselves or a close family member or friend as they’re going through a hard time, they know where to go to to seek out additional support. I know you also been working on a documentary as well. Then how did that all come about and how much work has gone into that? I think with that just kind kinda piecing together with my life and I, because I started raising mental health awareness around the age of 14, 15 after I saw the article in the province about Kevin Biaxin req reppin I that really touched my heart closely.

I wanted, he really inspired me to kind of be a mental health advocate and to carry on Ripens legacy because for me, I skated with the Canucks at a young age and I’ve always been a huge fan of the Vancouver Canucks. So I think I’m just trying to do something on a smaller level at the grassroots to make sure that these players going through the minor hockey associations are getting looked after with Rick repin. It was so devastating to see what happened. Especially cause I remember, I mean I grew up a connects man myself. And especially early on when Rick Ripen came through, I mean this was the toughest guy, the guy small and everybody fighting Morrisville, Epic laughing in his face. You’re like this guy could anybody, he goes out to howl Gill and he feeds him. And then the most tragic thing happens and it’s not about physical toughness cause you can be as physically tough as you want.

The mind is so much more powerful than that. And when you see somebody like that go through what he had went through. I know that really hit a lot of people hard like yourself and like my myself and others that were Canuks fans throughout the year. That’s one thing. I really appreciate you that what Kevin B actually did for rec rep and you want to carry on his legacy and made sure that individuals know about what he was going through. Because I do believe from a few articles that I read that Ripen and wanted to share a story and really wanted to inspire others to reach out by that unfortunately never got the chance, but I really have to applaud Kevin Jackson carry on his legacy and making sure that his semesters that you’re trying to carry on wasn’t going to die or about making sure that it was going through.

One. You’ve been getting support from multiple levels of government as well. Had a chance to meet with the prime minister. I was really fortunate to go and fly out to Ottawa and meet, Justin Trudeau, and I think that was a really great experience. Um, I never really expected that. I kind of went out to Ottawa and everyone told me that was a super, he was really busy that day and possibly I won’t be able to meet him, but he did set aside 10 to 15 minutes to chat with myself on what I’m doing with hockey players and mental health and how we could really, carry on the system, making sure that people don’t fall through the cracks. And how can people get involved and follow you guys? I think, they could actually go on my website seek out. There’s lots of information regarding that, but I think there’s multiple ways on to kind of raise awareness around mental health.

And I do want to give a shout out to they’re also a great support network for mental health are based out of Toronto and I have really close ties with them. And also head check health, I have to say a is a great resource for mental health and concussions. A couple more moments with Myles Mattila from MindRight for Athletes society, founder and director. And you’ve still got the hockey dream going. I mean, I know you’re the captain of your team, junior B team in Kelowna. Yup, well for me, I wanted to keep on playing hockey and , still going to school. I right now I’m in my third year of Okanagan college of business. And for me I didn’t really want to choose one or the other to just give up hockey and go to school or vice versa. So I’m really fortunate that I found a hockey team that allows me to carry on my initiatives with mental health, play hockey and I get to go to school so I can’t complain with that. It’s a great setup. Myles Mattila Mindright for athletes, society and founder and director. Hey listen, thanks so much for your time. I know it’s Very important and every person you touch it means a lot to them, so I appreciate it very much. Thank you very much. Myles Mattila. Joining us here. Make sure to check out his stuff. MindRight For athletes, society founder and Director.