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January 6, 2014, Vancouver (ISN) – As part of their continued commitment to the Hockey Talks initiative, the Vancouver Canucks are partnering with BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services to bring 1,500 youth, teachers and parents together from across BC for a mental health and substance abuse issues workshop at Rogers Arena on Tuesday, February 11.

The event is called “Balancing Our Minds 2014: Tools for Youth Wellness.” It is a free, one-day workshop for high school aged youth in BC to learn about mental health and engage in fun activities and thoughtful dialogue.

Specific goals and outcomes of this event include:

·         Building awareness of mental health and substance use issues

·         Learning about the range of mental health challenges and mental wellness

·         Connecting youth to tools, resources and services to promote and support mental health

·         Decreasing stigma associated with mental health challenges

The workshop will help further the Canucks Hockey Talks initiatives of raising awareness and addressing misconceptions and stigma associated with mental illness, as well as identifying resources available to youth in need of help or support.


Canucks Hockey Talks is part of a collective effort, with each of the Canadian NHL clubs dedicating one of their game nights in January to the cause. Specifically, each club will raise awareness about mental health through in-arena messaging at one of their home games and other means determined by each individual club. The in-game programming will help inform fans about mental health issues and the associated challenges.

This year, fans are encouraged to join the conversation by downloading a Hockey Talks sign and posting a picture via social media with the hashtag #hockeytalks. Signs will be available on

Canucks players will wear a Hockey Talks decal on their helmet in January and will continue the conversation throughout the month of January through online storytelling and social media.

The schedule for Hockey Talks night hosted by each Canadian Club is as follows: 


HOME TEAM                 VISITING TEAM           DATE
Calgary Flames             Nashville Predators      Jan. 24, 2014
Edmonton Oilers           Vancouver Canucks      Jan. 21, 2014
Montreal Canadiens       Carolina Hurricanes     Jan. 28, 2014
Ottawa Senators           Tampa Bay Lightning    Jan. 30, 2014
Toronto Maple Leafs      Tampa Bay Lightning    Jan. 28, 2014
Vancouver Canucks       Pittsburgh Penguins     Jan. 7, 2014
Winnipeg Jets               Nashville Predators       Jan. 28, 2014

One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in their lifetime; mental health problems or illnesses also indirectly affect many 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 per cent 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 compiled from information available through the following websites: Mental Health Commission of Canada, Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

MINDCHECK.CA was initially launched in the spring of 2010 as part of a Fraser Health early intervention pilot project for Youth and Young Adult Mental Health and Substance Use. Since then, Fraser Health formed a partnership with BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services to expand into a provincial resource for youth and young adults. features the personal accounts of Kevin Bieksa, interactive quizzes and information, and connections to resources and local services. To broaden the reach and increase public awareness and support for mental health challenges, BC residents had the opportunity to add their video to the “In One Voice” 2012 campaign within the site by recording and uploading a pledge.

By enhancing the mental health literacy of British Columbians, the partnership between the Vancouver Canucks and BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services supports early recognition of mental health concerns, encourages the use of effective self‐care strategies, and facilitates navigation of mental health services in BC.