Winnipeg, MB - The Winnipeg Jets, in conjunction with other Canadian NHL teams, and with the support of the National Hockey League, are pleased to announce details for Hockey Talks, a second-year initiative to bring increased dialogue and awareness to mental health and effective treatments. A game night in each respective city will be dedicated to Hockey Talks where each team will lend their voice to help encourage a national conversation about mental health and wellness.
The seven Canadian NHL teams recognize the importance of education and open dialogue of mental health and wellness at a national level. The goal of Hockey Talks is to bring this topic to the forefront in the public realm and alleviate misconception and stigma that has been unfairly associated with mental illness. With the collaboration of the seven Canadian hockey clubs, this message can have an extensive reach, connecting with citizens of all ages and backgrounds.
The Winnipeg Jets will host Hockey Talks on January 28, 2014 as they take on the Nashville Predators at MTS Centre. Game time is 7:00 pm. That night, each Winnipeg Jets player will wear a #11 Rick Rypien jersey during warm-up which, in turn, will then be auctioned to raise money for mental health awareness initiatives. Throughout the month, a different Mental Health organization will be in attendance at Winnipeg Jets games to provide information and Resource Guides to all fans. The programming and dialogue brings the opportunity to provide information to fans in recognizing mental health issues and better understanding the challenges associated with mental illness and to connect those in need of support with mental health organizations. Jets players will also don a Hockey Talks decal on their helmets for the entire month in support of this initiative. Fans are encouraged to join the conversation by sharing personal experiences or messages of support via social media with the hashtag #hockeytalks.
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.