OHL, CMHA Ontario, and Teachers Life team up this month to raise awareness about mental health

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League, in association with Canadian Mental Health Association, and Teachers Life, are teaming up to raise awareness about the importance of mental health during upcoming OHL games throughout the month of February.

The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by OHL clubs and local CMHA Ontario Branches to implement Talk Today.  Launched in October 2014, Talk Today is a partnership between the OHL, CMHA, and presenting sponsor Teachers Life, that provides mental health support to players and raises awareness about mental health and suicide throughout OHL communities.

All 20 OHL teams are hosting a Talk Today awareness game with the support of their local CMHA Ontario Branch.   Presented by Teachers Life in 16 different OHL communities, Talk Today awareness games 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 in venue addressing the importance of positive mental health, along with mental health awareness messaging delivered through social media.

2017 OHL and CMHA Game Night Schedule:
January 13 at London Knights with CMHA Middlesex
January 29 at Saginaw Spirit with CMHA Windsor-Essex County
February 2 at Windsor Spitfires with CMHA Windsor-Essex County
February 3 at Guelph Storm with CMHA Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin
February 7 at Kitchener Rangers with CMHA Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin
February 12 at Kingston Frontenacs with CMHA Kingston
February 15 at Erie Otters with CMHA Niagara
February 15 at Sarnia Sting with CMHA Lambton Kent
February 16 at North Bay Battalion with CMHA Nipissing
February 17 at Sudbury Wolves with CMHA Sudbury-Manitoulin
February 18 at Barrie Colts with CMHA Simcoe County
February 18 at Hamilton Bulldogs with CMHA Hamilton
February 18 at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds with CMHA Sault Ste. Marie
February 23 at Peterborough Petes with CMHA Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge
February 24 at Flint Firebirds with CMHA Windsor-Essex County
February 26 at Mississauga Steelheads with CMHA Peel
February 26 at Ottawa 67’s with CMHA Ottawa
February 26 at Owen Sound Attack with CMHA Grey Bruce
March 1 at Oshawa Generals with CMHA Durham
March 9 at Niagara IceDogs with CMHA Niagara

A key piece of the Talk Today program has been to educate players about mental health and suicide. Players on all 20 OHL teams have received 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.

Since its inception, Talk Today has made a sizable impact in the OHL with over 725 players, 204 billets, and more than 85 coaches and front office staff receiving mental health and suicide prevention training to date.  The partnership has expanded to include a mental health awareness seminar as part of the OHL/OHF Under-15 Program of Excellence since April, 2015, and new this season includes partnerships with all 60 teams across the Canadian Hockey League.

In conjunction with Teachers Life, OHL clubs have also been active this season incorporating the topic of mental health into their in-school visit programs working alongside their local CMHA Ontario Branches.  Players have already been visiting select elementary schools throughout the season communicating personal messages about managing stress.

Talk Today is a mandatory program that works in conjunction with the OHL’s other league programs in areas such as drug awareness, health and safety education, respect for women, and has become an important piece of the league’s ‘Players First’ guide. 

For more information about upcoming OHL and CMHA game nights please contact OHL clubs or the local CMHA Ontario Branch.

Help us spread the word about mental health! Keep the conversation going online using #TalkToday

For more information please visit http://ontario.cmha.ca

About Teachers Life:

Teachers Life is a not-for-profit federally regulated life-insurance company and North America’s largest educator-owned fraternal insurer. Founded in 1939, Teachers Life offers a full suite of personal insurance products to address the unique needs of the whole education community including educators, administrators, support staff and their families. Teachers Life is the first insurance provider in Canada to underwrite life insurance products online, in as little as 15 minutes. As a not-for-profit fraternal insurer, community commitment is a core value for Teachers Life. For more information, please visit www.teacherslife.com

About the Canadian Mental Health Association:

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) works toward a single mission: to make mental health possible for all. The vision of CMHA Ontario is a society that believes mental health is the key to well-being. CMHA Ontario works closely with 31 local branches in communities across the province to ensure the quality delivery of services in the areas of mental health, addictions, dual diagnosis and concurrent disorders. Through policy formulation, analysis and implementation, agenda setting, research, evaluation and knowledge exchange, we work to improve the lives of people with mental health and addictions conditions and their families.  Visit www.ontario.cmha.ca to find a CMHA branch in your community

About the Ontario Hockey League:

The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. Last season, more than nine million fans attended CHL games in the regular season, playoffs and at the Mastercard Memorial Cup. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U Sports than any other league.  For more information visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com.

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