MONTREAL - For the eighth 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 14 other NHL teams, the Canadiens reiterate 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 Washington Capitals to the Hockey Talks program. Before the game and during intermissions, fans are invited to visit the community kiosk in front of section 104, where representatives from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute will share information on community resources available to encourage those who need it to seek out the appropriate treatment and support, in addition to educating the public in hopes of reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Player spouses will also be on the concourse to inspire conversations and raise awareness about mental health, inviting fans to write, on a giant banner, messages of encouragement and support for patients of the Institute struggling with mental health challenges.
Prior to the game, Friends of Bell Let's Talk will distribute bracelets in support of Bell Let's Talk Day, which will be held on January 29, while the coaches will wear Bell Let's Talk pins for the occasion. Video messages recorded by some players 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's suites. Fondation Jeunes en Tête's mission is to prevent psychological distress among youth aged 11 to 18 throughout the province of Quebec. It accomplishes this mission by reaching out, through its Partners for Life program, to over 48,500 teenagers, parents, teachers and youth counsellors in schools annually to provide them with efficient tools and raise awareness about adolescent depression, in addition to supporting recognized community organizations that complement its work.
The team is also 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 youth-driven 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 players will wear DIFD socks and ties for tonight's game.
Bell Let's Talk Day is January 29
Everyone is invited to join the conversation on Bell Let's Talk Day by sending messages of support across multiple platforms to drive awareness and action in mental health. Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these communications on Bell Let's Talk Day, at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service providers 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 every Bell Let's Talk Day video view at Twitter.com/Bell_LetsTalk
Facebook: Every Bell Let's Talk Day video view at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and every 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 every Bell Let's Talk Day video view
YouTube: Every Bell Let's Talk Day video view at YouTube.com/BellCanada
Since the first Bell Let's Talk Day in 2011, Canadians and people around the world have sent a total of more than 1 billion messages of support for mental health, bringing Bell's total commitment to $100,695,763.75, which includes the company's original $50 million anchor donation when Bell Let's Talk launched in 2010.