Hockey Talks was created as a month-long initiative to increase dialogue and awareness about mental health and effective treatment.

This year, Hockey Talks spans from January 27 – February 26 and the Oilers will host their third annual in-game event on February 21, 2015 when the Oilers face off against the Anaheim Ducks. New this year, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation will raise money by selling limited-edition, signed hats on the concourse for $20.

This in-game initiative will seek to encourage a national conversation about mental health and the funds raised will benefit the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for the creation of an “Oilers Family Room” and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation.

One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in their lifetime; it indirectly affects many 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 per cent 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.

The Oilers Hockey Talks event is part of a collective effort, with all of the Canadian NHL clubs dedicating one of their game nights from Jan. 27-Feb. 26 to bringing awareness to this topic in an attempt to alleviate misconceptions and stigma that have been associated with mental illness.

Join the conversation via social media. Hockey Talks signs are available to print off below. Fans are encouraged to take a photo with the sign and post with the hashtag #HockeyTalks.

Download and print the sign HERE

CLICK HERE to buy tickets.