Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division have teamed up this month for a 50-50 raffle to raise funds that will go toward mental health awareness and suicide prevention training for athletes in Ontario.
Running now through Feb. 29, tickets for the raffle cost $10 for five, $20 for 30 and $50 for 100 and can be purchased at www.talktoday5050.com. All proceeds will support the OHL and CMHA Ontario’s Talk Today program. The winning ticket will be drawn March 2.
“Since 2014, the OHL has been a proud partner of CMHA Ontario and local CMHA branches to bring mental health awareness and suicide prevention training to nearly 1,200 players and more than 500 coaches, team staff, billets and families,” said OHL commissioner David Branch. “It’s important for our league and our teams to lead mental health conversations in our communities and dressing rooms as a way to reduce stigma and encourage individuals to find support when they need it.”
As part of the Talk Today program, all OHL teams will host a mental health awareness game this month. Game day experiences often have several features to promote the importance of mental health, including a CMHA-run kiosk on the concourse where fans can learn more about mental health and local community-based services, a ceremonial puck drop with the local CMHA branch, in-arena announcements and videos promoting mental health awareness and local programs, and more.
“The Ontario Hockey League was the catalyst to Talk Today’s growth into Canada’s largest mental health awareness initiative for athletes, which now spans from coast-to-coast across the Canadian Hockey League, and has developed partnerships with several other sports organizations, secondary schools, colleges and universities nationally,” said CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville. “Talk Today simply wouldn’t be where it is today without the support and leadership of the OHL, and this fundraiser is just another example of the league going the extra mile in the name of mental health.”
“Teachers Life is proud of our sponsorship of the OHL’s Talk Today program,” said Mark Cummings, President and CEO of Teachers Life. “We know that mental health is a real challenge facing today’s youth. When these athletes share their personal experiences, they become role models by demonstrating that it’s okay — and important — to talk about personal mental health. Talk Today is a great program as it embodies the principles of awareness, dialogue and a community-based approach to dealing with this important issue together.”
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.
About Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario is a not-for-profit, charitable organization funded by the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We work to improve the lives of all Ontarians through leadership, collaboration and continual pursuit of excellence in community-based mental health and addictions services. Our vision is a society that embraces and invests in the mental health of all people. We are a trusted advisor to government, contributing to health systems development through policy formulation and recommendations that promote positive mental health. Our 29 local CMHA branches, together with community-based mental health and addictions service providers across the province, serve approximately 500,000 Ontarians each year.
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.
As part of its commitment to the community, Teachers Life proudly supports a number of mental health initiatives, including TalkToday and Ready for Life, a unique mental health resource for educators. For more information, please visit www.readyforlife.ca or www.teacherslife.com.