The Niagara IceDogs have partnered with Canadian Mental Health Association, Niagara for a mental health awareness game Sunday, February 17th, 2019 at 2:00pm, presented by Teachers Life, when the Niagara IceDogs take on the Sudbury Wolves at the Meridian Centre.
The game day experience will have several features to promote the importance of mental health, including:
- A CMHA-run kiosk on the concourse where fans can learn more about mental health and the organization’s community-based services
- A ceremonial puck drop and photo opportunity with CMHA Niagara
- Videos featuring Niagara IceDogs players talking about the importance of mental health
- Public service announcements about mental health and CMHA Niagara
- Mental health signs for fans to write on and show in unison at a designated stoppage in play
This mental health awareness game is part of the Niagara IceDogs’ ongoing partnership with CMHA Niagara and its Talk Today program, presented by Teachers Life. Originally launched by CMHA Ontario in partnership with the Ontario Hockey League in 2014, Talk Today provides an important opportunity to address the mental health needs of athletes across Canada. Through this program, over 1,000 OHL players and over 400 coaches, billets and staff have received mental health and suicide prevention training across the league.
The key piece of the Talk Today program has been to educate players about mental health and suicide prevention. Each team is also linked to a CMHA mental health coach, who provides support and mental health resources to individuals in need. Additionally, CMHA experts work with players from the Niagara IceDogs to deliver a basic in-class presentation about mental wellness to elementary school students.
“One in five youth struggles with their mental health. Members of the Niagara IceDogs play leadership roles within the community and players, particularly, are seen as excellent role models who positively influence young fans and their families. This Talk Today event aims to combat stigma by starting a conversation around mental health and encouraging young people to seek help when they need it.” said Tara McKendrick, Executive Director, CMHA Niagara
“Games like this one reinforce to me how lucky I am to be working in such an incredible league, who works tirelessly with all its member clubs to make sure organizations like the CMHA and the Talk Today program receive added attention and focus, which could not be more important. Talk Today is one of the most important initiatives that our league, and the IceDogs are involved with, and it has become one of my favourite games of the year. To shine light on the importance of Mental Health is something that is extremely important in today’s world, and to be able to let those who are struggling know they are not alone, and that there are outlets for you, can make all the difference in someone’s world, and to be able as an organization to help any way we can is something we jump at the chance to do. The entire Niagara IceDogs organization is committed to ending the stigma surrounding mental health, and providing an outlet and means for anyone to get the help they need. Thank you to the CMHA, Talk Today program and Go Dogs Go!” said Joey Burke, General Manager of the Niagara IceDogs
Tickets for the game are still available, starting from $15. For ticket information, contact the Niagara IceDogs office at 905-687-3641.
About Teachers Life:
Teachers Life is a not-for-profit federally regulated life-insurance company and North America’s largest educator-owned fraternal insurer. Founded in 1939, Teachers Life offers a full suite of personal insurance products to address the unique needs of the whole education community including educators, administrators, support staff and their families. Teachers Life is the first insurance provider in Canada to underwrite life insurance products online, in as little as 15 minutes. As a not-for-profit fraternal insurer, community commitment is a core value for Teachers Life. For more information, please visit www.teacherslife.com.
About Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario:
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario is a not-for-profit, charitable organization funded by the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We work to improve the lives of all Ontarians through leadership, collaboration and continual pursuit of excellence in community-based mental health and addictions services. Our vision is a society that embraces and invests in the mental health of all people. We are a trusted advisor to government, contributing to health systems development through policy formulation and recommendations that promote positive mental health. Our 30 local CMHA branches, together with community-based mental health and addictions service providers across the province, serve approximately 500,000 Ontarians each year.