Ben Meisner

I am a German/Canadian Professional Ice Hockey Goaltender Playing in Germany. Born and raised in New Germany and Halifax, Nova Scotia, I am currently in my 5th season in Germany, and my 6th as a professional. Prior to leaving North America, I played a year in the ECHL and AHL, with a brief taste of the NHL with the San Jose Sharks. Before turning Professional, I received a full scholarship to play NCAA Division 1 Hockey at American International College in Springfield, MA, graduating in 2013 with a 3.9 GPA and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology.

Growing up, I had a hard time fitting in. I was bullied and tormented constantly. It led me to pull away from the world and go down a dark path and develop mental illness. I became a compulsive worrier riddled with anxiety about anything and everything and hockey was my escape. Through the years, I developed full blown anxiety, depression, and later obsessive compulsive disorder. The stress, fear, anxiety, and depression was so heavily rooted in me that despite playing a children’s game for a good living, I was ready to take my own life. One day after practice, I found myself preparing to die; getting things in order for the action I was planning to take. I was ready to take my last breath and end my life. All I had to do was step off the chair on which I was standing.

It was in that moment of geing seconds from death that I stepped down and decided to get help. It was because of this help that I am here today. Today, I am a healthy and happy man, living a life I never knew could exist for me. After beating my mental illness, I wanted to speak up and stop hiding as both a professional athlete and a human being. I published my story for millions to read on The Players' Tribune in August of 2018 and have been overwhelmed with love and support ever since.

I am now a proud mental health advocate and have loved meeting new people, spreading hope, and helping to save lives. I have partnered with numerous groups, foundations, and do public speaking to help end the stigma surrounding mental health, not just for athletes, but for everyone.