CMHA’s Talk Today program caps 10th season milestone with greatest impact to date

Majority of North American-based players ranked for 2024 NHL Draft participated in Talk Today

With the 10th season of the Talk Today program supporting junior hockey now complete, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division is pleased to announce Talk Today had a greater impact in 2023-24 than any season before.

This past season, more teams and participants were trained in mental health awareness and suicide prevention, more individuals were empowered to reach out to their local CMHAs for support and resources, and more teams engaged in mental health awareness initiatives than ever before across major junior hockey through the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) along with its three member leagues and Jr. A members of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).


· All 60 CHL clubs and 80 CJHL clubs took part in Talk Today education, support and awareness initiatives in 2023-24, inclusive of more than 2,500 athletes, coaches, team personnel, billets and parents.

· Teams and leagues collaborated with local CMHAs to present 71 in-arena mental health awareness events throughout the season, most of which were around ‘Talk Today month’ in February. Where in-person awareness events weren’t possible, many teams used their social media platforms to promote positive messages about mental health and availability of CMHA services. During Talk Today month, nearly 200,000 fans were reached in arenas, while on social media, #TalkToday generated 14 million total impressions, reaching 3.8 million people.

· Talk Today’s education and awareness components are intended to foster the program’s third pillar, support. In 2023-24, CMHAs saw more support-seeking from individuals than any season before – a key indicator the program is embedded within teams and leagues as intended.

Underscoring the impact Talk Today has beyond junior hockey, many program participants move on to play professionally and collegiately, taking what they’ve learned about mental health stigma and suicide prevention with them beyond junior. With the National Hockey League (NHL) Draft coming up June 28-29, a large contingent of players selected this season will have been Talk Today participants. Of 256 North American players ranked by NHL Central Scouting, 151 (59 per cent) players, including 149 from the CHL, are from teams who participated in Talk Today this season.

Since Talk Today’s inception in 2014, more than 11,000 participants have received mental health awareness and suicide prevention training across junior hockey, collegiate programs and minor sports organizations.

“It’s an incredible milestone for Talk Today to have reached 10 seasons of support in junior hockey, and even more remarkable that this program’s momentum continues to build, year after year,” said CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville. “It’s an honour to see Talk Today’s growth from a partnership with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2014 into a program embedded in the two highest levels of junior hockey in Canada today. We wouldn’t be this far along without the hard work of our CMHA colleagues at branches and divisions from coast-to-coast, the collaborative spirit from leadership of the leagues with which we work, the CHL’s commitment to fundraising, nor the generous support of the Fifth Line Foundation and NHL Foundation on the CJHL partnership.

“We’re humbled and thankful to all who have helped make 10 seasons of Talk Today possible.”

One of the most comprehensive sports mental health awareness and suicide prevention programs in Canada, Talk Today aims to promote suicide prevention, the mental health of young athletes and spread awareness about the benefits of positive mental health throughout communities across the country. Launched in 2014 as a partnership between CMHA Ontario and the OHL, Talk Today has since expanded into the top two levels of junior hockey nationally, the CHL and its

member leagues (OHL, Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League), as well as eight member Jr. A leagues in the CJHL.

In addition to mental health education, local Talk Today partnerships between CMHA branches and sports organizations provide athletes with connections to community supports through a dedicated mental health coach, as well as opportunities to raise mental health awareness through community events.

For more information about Talk Today, visit and subscribe to the Talk Today podcast on your preferred podcast app.

About the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario:

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario is a not-for-profit, charitable organization funded by the provincial government. 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. To donate or learn more, please visit


Media contact:

Alex Salomie
Responsable du programme Parlons-en