(North Bay, ON Feb. 14, 2023) – Players with the North Bay Battalion and visiting Erie Otters have been invited to tape their sticks green to support positive mental health during their Feb. 16 matchup at Memorial Gardens.
The mental health awareness game is part of the Troops’ ongoing partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association, North Bay and District and the provincial Talk Today Program.
The CMHA branch has donated stick tape in the symbolic green colour of mental health for the game, which is presented by Syngenta and Grain Farmers of Ontario.
A core component of Talk Today is to educate players about mental health and suicide prevention. Ontario Hockey League teams are also linked to a local CMHA mental health coach, who provides support and mental health resources.
Talk Today was launched by CMHA Ontario and the OHL in 2014 and has expanded to help address the mental health needs of athletes across Canada. To date, more than 1,450 OHL players and 550 coaches, billets and staff across the league have received mental health and suicide prevention training.
Thursday’s game-day experience will have several features to promote the importance of mental health, including:
- A CMHA-run kiosk and bean bag toss activity on the concourse where fans can learn more about mental health and the organization’s community-based services and enter a free draw for one of two hockey packages (dinner, merch and tickets).
- A ceremonial puck drop and photo opportunity with CMHA North Bay and District.
- Public service announcements about mental health and CMHA North Bay and District.
“While the conversation is changing around mental health and addiction, we know that stigma and discrimination may still keep people from getting the help they need,” said Mary Davis, CEO of CMHA North Bay and District. “One in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health issue in any given year, and it’s never been more important to normalize these conversations.”
“Events like this are an important opportunity to educate, raise awareness, help reduce stigma and for CMHA North Bay and District to share information about the programs and services we offer.”
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