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Oilers Foundation supports mental health awareness

Hockey Talks funds directed to CASA Foundation Adolescent Day Program

by Press Release /

(Edmonton, AB) - The Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) will be proudly hosting the fifth annual Hockey Talks event tomorrow, March 10, 2017, to encourage a conversation about mental health. Hockey Talks brings awareness to mental health and increases dialogue surrounding stigma and effective treatment. 

In advance of the fifth annual Hockey Talks event, earlier today, the EOCF, EOCF Board Members and Oilers Ladies visited the CASA Centre, a newly opened trauma-informed facility specifically designed for the needs of children's mental health. The group was hands on, volunteering and participating in CASA's art therapy program to help children and youth explore their talents and express their emotions in creative and innovative ways.

The Oilers Hockey Talks event is part of a collective effort with all Canadian National Hockey League (NHL) clubs dedicating one of their game nights from January 25 to March 10 to bring awareness to mental health, providing information and resources from mental health experts, and alleviating misconceptions and stigma associated with mental illness. As a sign of support, the entire Oilers team will be wearing Hockey Talks helmet decals during tomorrow's game vs. Pittsburgh.

"The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation is especially thrilled to support mental health initiatives for youth in Oil Country. It's important to our Foundation that we facilitate a conversation and make a real impact by helping break down common misconceptions and stigma associated with mental health," said EOCF Executive Director Natalie Minckler." At the heart of the work is making a positive impact and significant difference for people and groups in Northern Alberta and our fifth season of Hockey Talks is a great example of this effort."

The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) will raise money during the game by selling limited-edition, autographed Oilers pucks with the Inaugural Season logo with player cards on the concourse for only $20. New this year, fans not attending the game can purchase the Hockey Talks pucks from 5:00 PM until puckdrop in Ford Hall while supplies last.

Net proceeds will benefit the CASA Foundation to support CASA's Adolescent Day Program and the EOCF. The CASA Foundation supports CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health, which is a community-based provider of mental health services for infants, children, adolescents and their families within Edmonton and both Central and Northern Alberta.

"CASA has been a transformational leader and a strong advocate for children's mental health in the community for over 25 years. CASA provides treatment for infants, children, and youth with mental health and addictions disorders, serving more than 4,000 children and families each year."

CASA is very appreciative of the kindness of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation in supporting our Adolescent Day Program with fitness equipment. This fabulous gesture of support provides inspiration and builds confidence for our youth to embrace life through physical activity and mental wellbeing," said CASA and CASA Foundation CEO Dr. Denise Milne.  

Fans and supporters can join the conversation and lend their voices on social media using the hashtag #HockeyTalks.

To participate in the Hockey Talks Online Auction between March 14 and 28, 2017 or for more information, please visit

Mental Health Statistics*

  • In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem.
  • 70% of mental illnesses have their onset during childhood or adolescence.
  • Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness and/or substance use disorders than any other age group.
  • Mental illness is the second cause of disability and premature death in Canada.
  • By 2020, depression will be the leading cause of disability around the world.
  • According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (2014), about 1.2 million Canadian children and youth are affected by mental illness; yet less than 20 per cent will receive appropriate treatment. More than two-thirds of adults living with a mental health problem report that symptoms first appeared during their youth leading researchers to understand that early, effective intervention and treatment strategies for children and youth are vital.

*These statistics were compiled from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Canadian Mental Health Association, World Health Organization and Government of Canada.

Mental Health Resources

211 (1-888-482-4696) or

Health Link Alberta - 780-408-5465

Mental Health Help Line - 1-877-303-2642

Distress line - 780-482-4357 or 1-800-232-7288

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