A Message from Former NHL Goaltender, Kirk McLean, on the Overdose Crisis in B.C.

January 27, 2021. Article by: Government of B.C.

The ongoing overdose crisis in B.C. affects people from all walks of life – a friend, a family member, a colleague, or a neighbour. These are faces of people we know, people we care about. It touches all of us, but we may not even realize it.

Canucks Alumnus, Kirk McLean, reflects on what is happening around the province, and in the city of Vancouver where he lives, a place he holds close to his heart. Kirk believes it’s important for British Columbians to be aware of the impact of what’s happening to the people around us and those we care about.

It’s a bigger crisis out there than I think people know.

In 2020, nearly five people a day died from illicit drugs, with 1,716 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths. 83% of these deaths were men.

During times of crisis, men may feel like they have nowhere to turn. They may have a hard time opening up about what they are going through. There’s often pressure in society for men to keep a tough exterior, and to “man up”.

It’s time for this to change.

We need to be able to open up to each other…let people know, let your friends know. Tell them what’s going on, because you are not alone.

There are caring people all around us. Kirk believes that each one of us can play an essential role. You could even save a life.

If you think someone you care about might need help, reach out and let them know you’re there to listen.

We are all in this together.

What to do if you are facing mental health or substance use challenges

If you need support, there is strength in reaching out to another person.

The first step for many people is talking to a friend or family member. If a mental health or substance use challenge is affecting your life – whether causing difficulties with family, friends, at work or school – you may want to speak with a healthcare professional.

To find support:


If you are experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis; or suspect you or someone else is experiencing an overdose, call 9-1-1 right away.