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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.


Hockey Talks Game Nights
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

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

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).


 #HockeyTalks Social Media Campaign

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 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.



Mental Health and Wellness Facts

  • In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem. (1)
  • 70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence (2)
  • Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in Canada (3,4,5)
  • A growing body of international evidence demonstrates that promotion, prevention, and early intervention initiatives show positive returns on investment in this health sector (4,6)
  1. Smetanin et al (2011). The life and economic impact of major mental illnesses in Canada: 2011-2041.
  2. Government of Canada (2006). The human face of mental health and mental illness in Canada.
  3. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (2015). Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study, 2013.
  4. Mental Health Commission of Canada (2014). Why investing in mental health will contribute to Canada's economic prosperity and to the sustainability of our health care system.
  5. Lim et al (2008). A new population-based measure of the burden of mental illness in Canada.
  6. Canadian Policy Network (2011). Return on investment: Mental health promotion and mental illness prevention.