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Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation unveils Project 11 as part of Hockey Talks Initiatives"Hockey Talks"

by Staff Writer / Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg, MB. - The Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation today unveiled Project 11, an education plan for youth in Manitoba that focuses on Positive Mental Health Awareness, as part of their Hockey Talks initiatives. During the month of February, all seven Canadian NHL teams, with the support of the National Hockey League, are participating in Hockey Talks, a month-long initiative to bring increased dialogue and awareness to mental health and effective treatments.

Project 11 is a curricular support resource document for grades 5-8 on the topic of Positive Mental Health. The resource will be driven from as an optional opportunity for educators in the province of Manitoba to begin the conversation around Positive Mental Health Skills. Project 11 was inspired and created in honor of Rick Rypien.
The Winnipeg Jets will host Hockey Talks on February 7, 2013 as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at MTS Centre. Game time is 7:00 pm. That night, the Jets will raise mental health awareness through in-arena messaging as well as having Mental Health Resource Guides accessible to all fans. Mike Keane will be on the concourse signing limited Rick Rypien hoodies for $150 each, with all proceeds going towards Mental Health Research. As well, limited Hockey Talks t-shirts will be sold throughout the month of February. For all six home games at MTS Centre in February, different Mental Health organization will be set up in the concourse to provide information to fans. Jets players will also sport a Hockey Talks decal on their helmets for the entire month of February 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.

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.

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