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Niagara IceDogs to host mental health awareness game in partnership with CMHA Niagara, presented by Teachers Life

The Niagara IceDogs have partnered with Canadian Mental Health Association in Niagara for a mental health awareness game on Thursday, February 13th, 2020, presented by Teachers Life, when the IceDogs take on the Barrie Colts 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
  • Public service announcements about mental health and CMHA Niagara branch
  • 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 IceDogs’s 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 1,100 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 mental health. By hosting this event, the Niagara IceDogs and CMHA Niagara are helping eliminate the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues and encouraging discussion within the community about mental health.” said Tara McKendrick, Executive Director of CMHA Niagara.

“Games like this one reinforce to me how lucky I am to be working in such an incredible league. On 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.” said Joey Burke, General Manager of the Niagara IceDogs. “Talk Today is one of the most important initiatives that our league, and that we [IceDogs] are involved with. 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. 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!”

Tickets for the game are still available, starting from $15. For ticket information, click here.

Read more about Talk Today and the Ontario Hockey League’s month-long 50/50 fundraising initiative, click here.

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.

About the Ontario Hockey League:

The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. Last season, more than nine million fans attended CHL games in the regular season, playoffs and at the Mastercard Memorial Cup. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U Sports than any other league.  For more information, visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com.

 

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