(Toronto, April 1, 2019) – Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division has presented its first-ever Talk Today Partnership Award to the Ontario Hockey League in recognition of the OHL’s exemplary support in raising mental health awareness among its athletes, team staff, families and communities.
OHL Commissioner David Branch accepted the award on behalf of the OHL during a special ceremony at CMHA Ontario’s 2019 conference, The Quality Culture: Building Better Together, happening through tomorrow in Toronto.
Talk Today was originally launched by CMHA Ontario in partnership with local CMHA branches and the OHL in 2014 and has since expanded across the Canadian Hockey League and into other junior hockey leagues, high schools, colleges, universities and minor sports organizations all over the country.
The program provides an important opportunity to address the mental health needs of athletes across Canada. The nation’s most comprehensive mental health program for amateur sports, Talk Today includes mental health and suicide awareness training for athletes and team personnel, classroom presentations for elementary school students by CMHA experts and select athletes, and awareness games that promote the importance of positive mental health and wellness in local communities.
Through Talk Today, thousands of young athletes and team personnel have received mental health and suicide awareness training, thousands more elementary school students have participated in classroom mental wellness presentations, and hundreds of thousands of fans have attended mental health awareness games.
“On behalf of the Ontario Hockey League and our 20 member clubs, it is an absolute honour to accept the Talk Today Partnership Award from CMHA Ontario,” said Branch. “Over the last five years Talk Today has truly made a sizeable impact within our league and has enhanced our player environment. Perhaps more importantly, Talk Today has provided a platform to help end the stigma and advance mental health conversations amongst our players, our teams, and within our communities.”
“We’re immensely thankful for our partnership with the OHL and in particular, the leadership of David Branch,” said CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville. “The OHL has been integral to the success of Talk Today and has played a definitive role in expanding the program across the country, raising mental health awareness among athletes, adults who support them and fans.”
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. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U Sports than any other league. For more information, visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com.
For more information, contact:
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
T: 416-977-5580, ext. 4175
Camille Quenneville, CMHA Ontario CEO and David Branch, OHL Commissioner