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#hockeytalks hits Oil Country

by Kelsey Spohn / Edmonton Oilers

It’s time to talk, Oil Country. January marks the second annual Hockey Talks initiative raising mental health awareness to help alleviate misconceptions and stigma that have been associated with mental illness.

Part of a collective effort with all of the Canadian NHL clubs, each team is dedicating one of their game nights in January to support mental health. Throughout the month, fans are also encouraged to build a dialogue about mental health using social media platforms as a catalyst to support #hockeytalks. This year’s campaign is at the crux of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation’s (EOCF) mandate to support health and wellness for youth in Oil Country.

“Hockey Talks brings mental health to the forefront, where it always should be. It’s absolutely vital that we support one another and let others know that mental health is extremely important to talk about,” said Natalie Minckler, Executive Director, EOCF. “Supporting this dialogue will help erode the stigmatization of mental health issues and support those who need it most.”

On January 21, fans can purchase limited-edition, hand-signed pucks from the Oilers Ladies in-game to support this important cause. Net proceeds from the pucks will benefit the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit and the EOCF.

This year, Hockey Talks will support the creation of a much-needed Family Room in the mental health unit and with one in 20 children facing mental health issues, it will serve as an important resource in the community. Annually, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit admits approximately 420 patients with the Royal Alexandra Hospital unit serving all communities in Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories

“The mental health unit is a place of hope and it provides a calm and nurturing environment for kids where they feel safe and supported,” said Andrew Otway, president and CEO, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation. “The Family Room will be multifunctional in that it allows space for play, conversation, informal meetings and also a place for parents and their children to simply ‘hang out’ when those much needed visits take place.”

The time for talk is right now, Oil Country. Join the conversation on social media by tagging #hockeytalks to @EdmontonOilers and @Oil_Foundation. To buy tickets to this game CLICK HERE.

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