Kitchener Rangers and CMHA Waterloo Wellington raise awareness about mental health during recent home game
The Kitchener Rangers and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Waterloo Wellington Branch recently teamed up to raise awareness about the importance of mental health during a Kitchener Rangers home game.
The Kitchener Rangers game featured:
- A CMHA-run kiosk so fans could learn more about mental health
- Videos featuring Kitchener Rangers players talking about the importance of mental health
- Public address announcements about mental health
- A puck drop with former Kitchener Ranger Ben Fanelli and Acting Executive Director of CMHA WW Helen Fishburn
- Social media posts featuring #TalkToday
The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by the Kitchener Rangers and CMHA Waterloo Wellington to implement Talk Today. Announced in October 2014, Talk Today is a partnership between the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and CHMA Ontario. It provides mental health support to players and raises awareness about mental health and suicide throughout OHL communities.
A key piece of the Talk Today program has been to educate players about mental health and suicide. Every OHL team received mental health training specific to suicide awareness last season and new players were trained this fall. Each team is also now linked to a CMHA Mental Health Coach, who provides support and mental health resources to individuals in need.
”Members of the Kitchener Rangers play leadership roles within the community and players, particularly, are seen as excellent role models who positively influence young hockey fans and their families. By hosting this event, the team is helping to eliminate the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues and encouraging discussion within the community about mental health” said Helen Fishburn, Acting Executive Director of CMHA Waterloo Wellington.
The Kitchener Rangers strive to create and maintain an environment where our players feel comfortable confiding in us regarding any struggles they may encounter. We hope by raising awareness for #TalkToday during our game that our fans will also realize there are many outlets for them to reach out, if needed, said Mike McKenzie, Assistant Coach/General Manager of the Kitchener Rangers.