The Soo Thunderbirds and Canadian Mental Health Association (Sault Ste. Marie Branch are teaming up to raise awareness about the importance of mental health during an upcoming TBirds home playoff game.
The Soo Thunderbirds game on Wednesday April 06, 7:00 at the Essar Centre will feature:
- A CMHA-run kiosk so fans can learn more about mental health
- Public address announcements about mental health
- Puck Drop
The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by the Soo Thunderbirds and CMHA Sault Ste. Marie to implement Talk Today. Announced in October 2014, Talk Today is a partnership between the Ontario Hockey League (NOJHL) and CHMA Ontario. It provides mental health support to players and raises awareness about mental health and suicide throughout NOJHL communities.
A key piece of the Talk Today program has been to educate players about mental health and suicide. Every NOJHL 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.
“I am proud to be working with the NOJHL as a mental Health Coach for the Soo Eagles, Blind River Beavers, Elliot Lake Wild and the Soo Thunderbirds. This year, our local branch and the talk today program has provided support to players and Suicide Alertness training to 85 players and 7 coaches. I applaud the NOJL and all of the teams for recognizing the importance of mental health of their players.” – Lisa Carricato Mental Health Coach, CMHA Sault Ste. Marie.
Assistant Coach Kyle Brick says “The Talk Today program sheds light on a topic that would usually be taboo in the sport of hockey, The Soo Thunderbird organization was eager to make sure that all players have a safe place to go when in need. Mental Health mixed with the grind of a hockey season can be extremely difficult to some and the Talk Today program lets players know they’re not alone in this battle. “