MONTREAL - For the seventh consecutive year, the Montreal Canadiens are hosting their Hockey Talks program, an initiative supported by the National Hockey League to encourage conversations about mental health.
Joining forces with 11 other NHL teams, the Canadiens are reiterating their commitment to building awareness among their fans about mental health, while also supporting the actions of organizations that help those in need.
Tonight, the Canadiens are dedicating their home game against the Arizona Coyotes to the Hockey Talks program. Prior to the game, players' and coaches' wives, alongside Marie-Soleil Dion, Stefie Shock and some Friends of Bell Let's Talk from this year's campaign, will distribute bracelets in support of Bell Let's Talk Day, on January 30, while the coaches will wear Bell Let's Talk pins for the occasion. A video message recorded by some players and their wives will be shown on the scoreboard during the game to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. On the ice, players will also sport Hockey Talks decals on the backs of their helmets to show their commitment to the cause.
Kids from the Fondation Jeunes en Tête will have the chance to attend tonight's game in the two Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation suites. Fondation Jeunes en Tête's mission is to prevent psychological distress among youth aged 11 to 18 throughout the province of Quebec. During the warm-up period, players will wear jerseys with their Twitter usernames on them to engage fans in conversation about mental health on social media. These special edition jerseys will then be auctioned off at auctions.nhl.com until January 30, 2019 to benefit the Fondation Jeunes en Tête and Do It For Daron.
New this year, following the arrival of Luke Richardson, who joined the Canadiens as an assistant coach earlier this season, the team is proud to support the Do It For Daron (DIFD) initiative launched in 2011 by Luke and his wife, Stephanie, following the death of their 14-year-old daughter, Daron, who died by suicide the previous year. This movement raises awareness and inspires conversation about suicide and youth mental health by promoting open dialogue around these issues to help prevent such tragedies from happening again. To support young people with mental health issues, DIFD has also provided financial support to many education and research projects since its creation, as well as promotes a variety of organizations and resources that offer mental health services to youth in need and their families. To emphasize their support for this cause, coaching staff, management and other members of the organization will wear DIFD socks and ties during the game.
JOIN IN ON BELL LET'S TALK DAY
Everyone is invited to join the conversation on Bell Let's Talk Day by sending messages of support across multiple platforms to drive both awareness and action in mental health. Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of the following interactions on January 30, at no extra cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access:
• Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
• Text: Every text message sent by Bell wireless customers
• Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let's Talk emoji, and Bell Let's Talk Day video view at Twitter.com/Bell_LetsTalk
• Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and use of the Bell Let's Talk frame
• Instagram: Every Bell Let's Talk Day video view at Instagram.com/bell_letstalk
• Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let's Talk filter and video view
To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Mental illness affects Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life. One in five Canadians will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lifetime, and every Canadian will be affected indirectly through a family member, friend or colleague. Many people living with a mental illness report that negative stereotypes cause them more suffering than the illness itself. As a result, two thirds of those suffering from mental illness are too afraid to reach out for help. That is why we are inviting you to join the conversation around mental health. Together, we can make a powerful contribution to changing the prevailing narrative and negative stereotypes about people living with mental health issues.