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Steelheads to host mental health awareness game in partnership with CMHA Peel Dufferin Branch

The Mississauga Steelheads have partnered with Canadian Mental Health Association, Peel Dufferin Branch for a mental health awareness game on Friday, February 8 at 7:00 pm when the Mississauga Steelheads take on the Ottawa 67’s at Paramount Fine Foods Centre.

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 Peel Dufferin
• Videos featuring the Steelheads players talking about the importance of mental health
• Public service announcements about mental health and CMHA Peel Dufferin
• Mental health signs for fans to write on and show in unison at a designated stoppage in play
• A CMHA fundraising component

This mental health awareness game is part of the Mississauga Steelheads’ ongoing partnership with CMHA Peel Dufferin Branch 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 Mississauga Steelheads to deliver an in-class presentation about mental wellness to elementary school students.

“Members of the Mississauga Steelheads play leadership roles within the community and players, particularly, are seen as excellent role models who positively influence young fans and their families. This Talk Today event aims to combat stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues and continues the conversation around mental health, encouraging discussion within the community and for young people to seek help when they need it” said David Smith, CEO of CMHA Peel Dufferin Branch

Carter Talk Today

“It very important that we are taking more awareness in mental health initiatives especially within the hockey community. A lot of people think that because we play in the OHL that guys like us can’t suffer from mental health but we are just like anyone else. We need to support our teammates and peers within the league and understand that anyone can be affected by mental health. There is importance in speaking up and taking advantage of the help that is available. Thanks to our partnership with the CMHA Dufferin Peel and Teacher Life for providing this support and accessibility to the Steelheads community” said Cole Carter, Captain of the Mississauga Steelheads

“Our Team is honoured to work alongside CMHA Peel Dufferin at helping our young men deal with the everyday stress and anxieties of being an elite athlete. We are trying to let our players know that is just as important to be mentally healthy as it is to be physically. Often you hear terms in sports that a player is “mentally tough” and it is something that the CMHA program enhances by bringing out into the open that it’s ok to have bad days. Coaches and teammates know it’s important to support those around us that might be having a bad day and it’s ok to reach out and accept help from those that care. CMHA Peel Dufferin and the Steelheads care about the person inside the athlete. It is our pleasure to work alongside the CMHA Peel Dufferin and know that we are doing the right thing for our Team” said James Richmond, Head Coach/General Manager of Mississauga Steelheads

Tickets for the game are still available, starting from $20. For ticket information contact: communications@cmhapeel.ca

Read more about Talk Today visit.

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.

Media contacts:
Melanie Cochrane
Resource Development Coordinator,
CMHA Peel Dufferin
905 451-1718 ext 320
CochraneM@cmhapeel.ca
 
Chantelle Ramos
Communications & Game Operations Coordinator,
Mississauga Steelheads Hockey Club
905-502-7788 ext 224
cramos@mississaugasteelheads.com
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