Canadian paramedic releases music video about mental health

Paramedic Nicholas Hennink, who was named Canada's 2020 Paramedic of the Year, opened up about his struggle with PTSD and addiction


By Laura French

CANADA — A Canadian paramedic has released a music video focused on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Paramedic Nicholas Hennink, who was named 2020 Paramedic of the Year by the Paramedic Association of Canada, released the video for his song "I AM STRONG" on July 3, which features images of first responders and healthcare providers on the front line of the pandemic and concludes with resources for those struggling with their mental health. 

The lyrics of the song focus on standing together and overcoming hardship, and a description for the video states, "This pandemic has definitely caused some hardships and stress. With loss of jobs, financial burdens and health concerns, the negative impact on our communities is undeniable. However, there is another devastating blow that many have experienced. Depression, anxiety, addiction and even suicide has increased at an alarming rate." 

Hennink has spoken openly about his personal experience with PTSD and alcohol addiction; in a statement, Hennink described struggling with his addiction for six years, including three stays at inpatient rehabilitation facilities. 

"I fought this battle and truly desire to make a positive impact on others just like me," Hennink said.

Hennink said he strives to break the stigma around mental illness and addiction, be a voice for EMS providers who feel they can't be open about their mental health struggles and advocate for mental health support through his music, including by raising money for mental health-focused charities through his "We Are Warriors" campaign. 

See the full music video below:

 

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