What is Talk Today?
Canadian Mental Health Association branches across Ontario have partnered with the Ontario Hockey League to provide their teams with mental health supports and training. This partnership came to light after one of the OHL Players for Saginaw Spirit died by suicide in 2014. The OHL recognized that these young players needed help to keep their mental health in as good a shape as their physical health.
CMHA Niagara partners with both the Niagara IceDogs and the Erie Otters to provide each team’s players and staff training on how to recognize the symptoms of deteriorating mental health and how to ask for help. Many of the families that players are billeted with during their season have also been trained to provide support for players when they need to talk. Our Mental Health Coach, Kevin Hicks, is proud to be able to assist both teams and be our branch’s representative for positive mental health among the OHL.
CMHA Ontario put together a document to highlight this positive initiative, which can be found here.
The hashtag #TalkToday has reached more than 2 million people, with 8 million responses and sharing with social media networks. In light of a tragedy, this initiative is positive and helps players, coaches, and hockey fans alike start the conversation about mental health and mental illness.
Check out the video of Ben Jones from the IceDogs team.