Kitchener Rangers to host mental health awareness game in partnership with CMHA Waterloo Wellington
The Kitchener Rangers have partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Waterloo Wellington for a mental health awareness game on Friday, February 1, 2019 when the Kitchener Rangers take on the Owen Sound Attack at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
The game day experience will 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 the organization’s community-based services
- A ceremonial puck drop and photo opportunity with CMHA Waterloo Wellington
- Videos featuring Kitchener Rangers players talking about the importance of mental health
- Public service announcements about mental health and CMHA Waterloo Wellington
- Mental health signs for fans to write on and show in unison at a designated stoppage in play
This mental health awareness game is part of the Kitchener Rangers’ ongoing partnership with CMHA Waterloo Wellington and its Talk Today program. Originally launched by CMHA Ontario in partnership with the Ontario Hockey League in 2014, Talk Today provides an important opportunity to address the mental health needs of athletes across Canada. Through this program, over 1,000 OHL players and over 400 coaches, billets and staff have received mental health and suicide prevention training across the league.
The key piece of the Talk Today program has been to educate players about mental health and suicide prevention. Each team is also linked to a CMHA mental health coach, who provides support and mental health resources to individuals in need. Additionally, CMHA experts work with players from the Kitchener Rangers to deliver an in-class presentation about mental wellness to elementary school students.
“We’re extremely grateful to partner with the Kitchener Rangers and Teachers Life to host a Talk Today event to increase public awareness and to promote mental health in this community. Nearly 60 percent of youth 25 and under treated for a mental illness in the past year reported being affected by the impact of stigma. By hosting this event, the Kitchener Rangers are helping eliminate the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues and encouraging discussion within the community about mental health,” said Fred Wagner, executive director of CMHA Waterloo Wellington.
“We are happy to be taking part and hosting the Talk Today game again this year in support of mental health. Every year we see progress being made towards eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health. Our players and staff have all taken part in the Talk Today program and understand the importance of mental health,” said Mike McKenzie, general manager of the Kitchener Rangers. “We hope to continue to raise awareness throughout the region and gain more momentum for the CMHA and Talk Today program.”
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 30 local CMHA branches, together with community-based mental health and addictions service providers across the province, serve approximately 500,000 Ontarians each year.
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.
Megan Brady Jess Korol
Communications Specialist Media and Communications Coordinator
CMHA WW Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club
519-821-8089 Ext. 2106 519-741-4854