(Edmonton, AB) – Throughout the 2014-15 season, Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens was a tireless, local champion for mental health awareness and is being recognized for his efforts by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division (CMHA). Each year at their annual general meeting, the President of the Board of Directors presents an award to an individual who has brought a positive focus on mental health in Alberta.
“It is really special when someone selflessly uses their position of influence to positively impact the lives of Albertans experiencing mental health concerns,” said Thomas Djurfors, CMHA, Alberta Division Board President. “Over the past two years, Mr. Scrivens has advanced the message of mental health through his words, actions and activities. We are humbled and grateful that Mr. Scrivens has chosen to be a champion for making mental health matter.”
Scrivens has been a leader in raising mental health awareness through numerous initiatives including Ben’s Netminders – a community program focused on creating special opportunities for youth from sponsored mental health organizations to attend Oilers games throughout the season. He also pioneered the Unmasking Stigma program where he forged strong partnerships with two local artists living with schizophrenia, Richard Boulet and Marc Munan, who designed two goalie masks that the netminder donned during the season. The masks were later auctioned off through the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF), raising significant funds for both CMHA and the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta.
“I'm extremely honoured and humbled to receive this recognition. Without the countless hours of help and the unending waves of support from so many in the Edmonton community, any efforts I made would be for naught,” said Scrivens. “Thank you to my family, who acted on my behalf at numerous events while I was away playing. Thank you to the artists and the curator, Marc Munan, Richard Boulet and David Candler, whose talents and hard work painted those with mental illness in such a positive light. Thank you to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and finally, thank you to the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta and, most importantly, the Canadian Mental Health Association for their tireless work supporting those in our community who are affected by mental illness.”
Other efforts also included support for the EOCF’s Hockey Talks program and the Bring Change 2 Mind StrongerThanStigma project to raise awareness around the unique challenges that men face when discussing mental health.
The award will be accepted on Friday, September 25 at the CMHA, Alberta Division Annual General Meeting by Ben’s parents, Wayne and Dawna Scrivens, on behalf of the Oilers netminder.