During February, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) branches as well as leagues and teams in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) are coming together to celebrate their partnerships on the Talk Today program and to promote positive messages about mental health.
Across the CHL and CJHL, CMHAs are connected with teams to provide mental health awareness/suicide prevention training and ongoing support as needed, and together they work to promote mental health awareness in the community.
Throughout this month, CMHA branches and these junior hockey teams alike are doing their part to raise awareness of mental health on social media. To follow along or join in, use the hashtag #TalkToday. Where possible, many CMHAs and teams are also collaborating on game day events where teams use their platform to spread awareness of local mental health and addictions resources and share positive messages about mental health.
Talk Today is one of the most comprehensive mental health programs for amateur sports in Canada. It strives to promote the mental health of young athletes while spreading awareness about the benefits of positive mental health throughout communities across the country.
The key piece of the Talk Today program has been to educate players about mental health and suicide prevention, in addition to linking each team to a CMHA Mental Health Coach who provides support and mental health resources to individuals in need.
Since its launch in 2014 through 2021-22, Talk Today has delivered suicide prevention training and provided resources to more than 5,700 athletes as well as 800 coaches, billets and team staff in junior hockey, and high school, college and university athletics.
CHL teams across the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League participate in Talk Today annually. In the CJHL, participating member leagues this season include the Maritime Junior Hockey League, Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec, Central Canada Hockey League, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, Superior International Junior Hockey League, Manitoba Junior Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Talk Today in the CJHL is generously funded by the Fifth Line Foundation and NHL Foundation. For more information about Talk Today, visit www.talktoday.ca. Find a Talk Today event in your community here.