Vancouver, B.C. - The Vancouver Canucks hosted their Hockey Talks night against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight as part of a month-long initiative to bring increased dialogue and awareness to mental health and effective treatments.
“It’s imperative we start this important conversation about mental health and the challenges of mental illness today,” said Dr. Connie Coniglio, Provincial Executive Director, Children and Women’s Mental Health and Substance Use Programs. “Too many people have suffered in silence and the path to wellness starts with open communication and greater understanding. Hockey Talks is one significant step to help people recognize the resources that are available and to promote understanding and healing through open conversation.”
The Canucks Hockey Talks game night began with Wes Rypien, brother of former Canuck Rick Rypien, partaking in a ceremonial faceoff between Canucks captain Henrik Sedin and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to kick off the launch of the mental health awareness campaign. The game also featured Canucks players donning a Hockey Talks decal on their helmets, Hockey Talks rinkboards and in-game public service announcements and informational videos.
Members of the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre Youth Ambassadors Program had the opportunity to enjoy the game from Lui’s Crease Club while representatives from Kelty and mindcheck.ca were stationed at community corner in the concourse of Rogers Arena to distribute information to fans. The Youth Ambassadors are comprised of youth with lived experience with mental health concerns engaged in reaching out to BC schools to help with mental health initiatives and teach BC school students how to access mindcheck.ca and other resources.
Throughout the month of February the Vancouver Canucks will wear the Hockey Talks helmet decal and continue to contribute to discussions about mental health through Canucks online editorial features and social media venues. Fans are encouraged to lend their voice to the national conversation about mental health through personal accounts or messages of support on social media with the hashtag #HockeyTalks.
For more information and resources on mental health and wellness, fans are encouraged to visit mindcheck.ca.
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in their lifetime; it indirectly affects all Canadians at some point through a family member, friend or colleague. Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
Approximately 70% of mental health problems and illnesses have their onset during childhood or adolescence. Identifying the signs early and getting connected to tools and support is the most important way to prevent problems from becoming worse. Mental health problems and illnesses can be treated effectively.
Mindcheck.ca features the personal accounts of Kevin Bieksa, interactive quizzes and information, and connections to resources and local services. To broaden the reach and increase public awareness and support for mental health issues, BC residents had the opportunity to add their video to the “In One Voice” campaign within the site by recording and uploading a pledge.
By enhancing mental health literacy this partnership has helped improve early recognition of mental health concerns, encourage the use of effective self‐care strategies, and facilitate navigation of mental health services in BC.
Mindcheck.ca was initially launched in spring 2010 as part of a Fraser Health early intervention pilot project for Youth and Young Adult Mental Health and Substance Use.