Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League (WHL) and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) are teaming up to raise awareness about the importance of mental health during upcoming WHL games throughout the month of February.
The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by WHL Clubs and local CMHA Branches to implement Talk Today. Launched during the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup, Talk Today is a partnership between the WHL, Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and CMHA that provides mental health support to players and raises awareness about mental health and suicide throughout CHL communities.
This year, all 22 WHL teams will host a Talk Today awareness game by the end of February with the support of their local CMHA Branch. Each game will feature a CMHA kiosk where fans can get more information about Talk Today and the programs and services offered by the Branches. There will also be public address and video announcements addressing the importance of positive mental health.
2017 WHL and CMHA Game Night Schedule:
January 29th – Edmonton Oil Kings
February 1st – Swift Current Broncos
February 1st – Kootenay ICE
February 3rd – Everett Silvertips
February 6th – Prince George Cougars
February 7th – Victoria Royals
February 8th – Brandon Wheat Kings
February 8th – Spokane Chiefs
February 10th – Lethbridge Hurricanes
February 10th – Portland Winterhawks
February 11th – Moose Jaw Warriors
February 11th – Seattle Thunderbirds
February 15th – Medicine Hat Tigers
February 15th – Prince Albert Raiders
February 15th – Saskatoon Blades
February 15th – Tri-City Americans
February 18th – Kelowna Rockets
February 19th – Kamloops Blazers
February 24th – Calgary Hitmen
February 24th – Vancouver Giants
February 25th – Red Deer Rebels
February 28th – Regina Pats
A key piece of the Talk Today program has been to educate players about mental health and suicide. Players on all 22 WHL teams will receive mental health training specific to suicide awareness called safeTALK. This training helps teach individuals the importance of talking about mental health, how to acknowledge signs of suicide, seek help when they’re in need of support, and connect others in need of support to suicide first aid resources. Each team is also linked to a CMHA Mental Health Coach, who can provide support and mental health resources to individuals in need.
Talk Today is a mandatory program within the WHL’s Players First support service programs. The WHL’s Players First programs provide educational, mentorship and support services which touch on many issues such as bullying, mental health and leadership along with extensive health and safety initiatives.
For more information about upcoming WHL and CMHA game nights please contact WHL Clubs or your local CMHA Branch.
Help us spread the word about mental health! Keep the conversation going online using #TalkToday.