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Winnipeg Jets build awareness for mental health and wellness through "Hockey Talks"

by Staff Writer / Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets are proud to host their fourth annual Hockey Talks day on February 23, 2016, when they host the Dallas Stars to encourage a conversation about mental health. The Jets will dedicate this game night to bringing awareness to mental health and offering fans the opportunity to get involved through social media. The Jets Hockey Talks event is part of an effort with the other Canadian NHL clubs to dedicate one of their game nights from Jan. 26-Feb. 23 to bringing awareness to this topic in an attempt to provide information from experts and alleviate some of the misconceptions and stigma associated with mental illness.

Fans will also have the opportunity to lend their voices by downloading a Hockey Talks sign from the Jets or one of the other participating clubs' websites and posting a picture via social media with the hashtag #HockeyTalks. The images will appear as part of an online mosaic to showcase a united voice at

This year the Jets will host various mental health organizations during home games throughout the month of February to bring awareness to resources around the province. As well they will continue to promote their provincial school based program called Project 11. The program is currently piloting in 80 grade 5/6 classrooms around the province. Project 11 is a 15 week program focusing on Positive Mental Health Coping Skills. For more information


According to mental health experts, on average one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in their lifetimes; thereby affecting indirectly many more Canadians 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 percent 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.

These statistics were compelled 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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