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Flames build awareness for mental health through Hockey Talks

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames have launched their 2016 Hockey Talks campaign in support of Canadian mental health awareness, leading up to the fourth annual Hockey Talks game on Friday, February 19th when the Flames play host to the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Flames Hockey Talks event is part of a collective effort, with all Canadian NHL clubs dedicating one of their game nights to bringing awareness to this topic in an attempt to alleviate misconceptions and stigma that have been associated with mental illness.

Fans will have the opportunity to lend their voices by posting a message on social media with the hashtag #HockeyTalks. The posts will appear as part of an online mosaic to showcase a united voice at http://flames.nhl.com/hockeytalks.

The Flames will continue to support the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) at the Hockey Talks game this season by donating a portion of 50/50 proceeds to the CMHA - Calgary. CMHA - Calgary volunteers will also be selling pucks with 1/3 of them autographed by players for $15 on the main concourse at Section 227 with funds directed toward the cause. Flames players will also join the cause by wearing Hockey Talks apparel along with lending their voices to various public service announcements and social media posts.

Last year, the Calgary Flames Foundation donated $12,500 to the CMHA - Calgary from the Hockey Talks game. Since its inception three years ago, over $35,000 has been raised by the Calgary Flames Foundation for this initiative.

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 per cent 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.

These statistics were compiled from information available through the following websites: Mental Health Commission of Canada, Canadian Mental Health Association and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

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