Edmonton, A.B. - The Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets, with the support of the National Hockey League, are proud to announce Hockey Talks, a month-long initiative to increase dialogue and awareness about mental health and effective treatments. A game night in each respective city will be dedicated to Hockey Talks where each team will lend their voice to help encourage a national conversation about mental health and wellness.
The seven Canadian NHL teams recognize the importance of education and open dialogue on mental health and wellness at a national level. The goal of Hockey Talks is to bring this topic to the forefront in the public realm and alleviate misconceptions and stigma that has been unfairly associated with mental illness. With the collaboration of the seven Canadian hockey clubs, this message can have an extensive reach, connecting with citizens of all ages and backgrounds.
During the month of February, each Canadian team will raise awareness about mental health through in-arena messaging and online storytelling, sharing information and experiences at one of their home games. The programming and dialogue will provide information and an opportunity for fans to recognize mental health issues and better understand the challenges associated with mental illness and to connect those in need of support with mental health organizations. Fans are encouraged to join the conversation by sharing personal experiences or messages of support via social media with the hashtag #hockeytalks.
Hockey Talks will take over Rexall Place on February 21, 2013 as the Oilers take on the Minnesota Wild. Limited edition, hand-signed pucks will be sold on the concourse, with help from the Oilers Ladies, and fans who receive one of 25 gold-signed pucks will be the lucky recipient of a team-signed stick. Net funds raised through this in-game initiative will go to support the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) Edmonton Region in developing an interactive website for their Light Up Your Mind youth mental-health education program and the EOCF. During the game, CMHA staff members will be stationed throughout the concourse to provide information to fans about their programs and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation will be selling 50/50 tickets to raise funds for their youth mental health program.
HOCKEY TALKS GAME NIGHTS
Edmonton Oilers vs. Minnesota Wild Feb. 21, 2013
Calgary Flames vs. Los Angeles Kings Feb. 20, 2013
Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins Feb. 6, 2013
Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Feb. 23, 2013
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins Feb. 2, 2013
Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks Feb. 1, 2013
Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Feb. 7, 2013
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in their lifetime; it indirectly affects all Canadians at some point through a family member, friend or colleague. Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
Approximately 70% of mental health problems and illnesses have their onset during childhood or adolescence. Identifying the signs early and getting connected to tools and support is the most important way to prevent problems from becoming worse. Mental health problems and illnesses can be treated effectively.
CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION – EDMONTON REGION
Established in 1954, CMHA Edmonton Region provides a broad spectrum of mental health and wellness services for youth, families and adults and is recognized as a community leader in the area of mental health and wellness. CMHA recognizes that early intervention is key when it comes to the recovery of mental health disorders and believes that education is critically important in reducing and managing mental illness.
CMHA’s youth education program, Light Up Your Mind, supports students and teachers in knowing that it is ok to talk about mental health, stress, mental illness and thoughts of suicide. Through the in-school program, students learn about coping strategies, how to help a friends and where and how to ask for help.
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