The Hockey Talks mental health awareness initiative began in 2013, following the tragic passing of Canucks player Rick Rypien in 2011. Rick was a hockey hero, a son, a brother, a teammate, and a friend. Rick's wish was to support others and help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by being a spokesperson for this issue. The Vancouver Canucks are committed to honoring Rick's legacy by telling his story and carrying out his mission to support youth and families struggling with mental health challenges. This year, all 7 Canadian NHL teams and 5 US teams will host a Hockey Talks mental health awareness night in an effort to encourage conversation, share mental health resource information, and reduce the stigma.
The Vancouver Canucks will host their sixth annual Hockey Talks day on January 16, 2019 to encourage a conversation about mental health. The Canucks will dedicate this game night to bring awareness to mental health and offer fans the opportunity to get involved through social media. The Canucks Hockey Talks event is part of an effort with 12 NHL clubs where each will dedicate one of their game nights from January 16 to March 17 to bring awareness to mental health, provide information from experts, and alleviate some of the misconceptions and stigma associated with mental illness.
|Vancouver Canucks||Edmonton Oilers||Jan. 16, 2019|
|New York Islanders||Anaheim Ducks||Jan. 20, 2019|
|Edmonton Oilers||Carolina Hurricanes||Jan. 20, 2019|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Washington Capitals||Jan. 23, 2019|
|Montreal Canadiens||Arizona Coyotes||Jan. 23, 2019|
|Winnipeg Jets||Columbus Blue Jackets||Jan. 31, 2019|
|Carolina Hurricanes||Calgary Flames||Feb. 3, 2019|
|New Jersey Devils||Los Angeles Kings||Feb. 5, 2019|
|Ottawa Senators||Anaheim Ducks||Feb. 7, 2019|
|Arizona Coyotes||Columbus Blue Jackets||Feb. 7, 2019|
|Calgary Flames||San Jose Sharks||Feb. 7, 2019|
|Colorado Avalanche||New Jersey Devils||Mar. 17, 2019|
On January 16, Canucks players will wear Hockey Talks helmet decals and dri-fit t-shirts to show their support. As well, the Canucks will host the Canadian Mental Health Association and Foundry on the concourse to share information with fans.
The Canucks are once again supporting Balancing our Minds mental health youth summits in 5 communities across BC in 2019. Balancing our Minds youth summits are events where high school aged youth can learn and talk about mental health and reducing stigma, participate in activities and learn about local and provincial resources.
The Canucks have also supported BC Children's Hospital in developing a mindfulness app for youth called Breathr. Breathr is designed to help introduce the concept of mindfulness and create an easy access point for those new to the practice. The app provides opportunities for users to try out a variety of mindfulness practices, while also teaching them interesting facts about the brain science behind those practices. For more information and to download the app visit http://keltymentalhealth.ca/breathr.
The Vancouver Canucks are also partnering with the BC Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to educate the public and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use. They will be at Rogers Arena on January 16, providing Canucks fans with information about how they can be mental health ambassadors and support others by having courageous conversations. For more information, visit StopOverdoseBC.ca.
The Vancouver Canucks' efforts in raising awareness about mental health through the Hockey Talks Program have been recognized by the 2017 Mental Health Voices Award from the Canadian Mental Health Association as well as by the 2013 Rona & Ken Purdy Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Fans will also have the opportunity to lend their voices through social media by using the hashtag #HockeyTalks. Social media messages using the hashtag will appear as part of an online mosaic to showcase a united voice on Canucks.com/hockeytalksmosaic. Collectively, fans will have the opportunity to share personal messages and messages of support to create an atmosphere of open dialogue and awareness about mental health.