Talk Today month mental health awareness campaign reaches millions

Another Talk Today month has wrapped up, and this year, millions more people were reached online – as well as thousands more in junior hockey arenas across the country – with positive messages about mental health.

The 2023-24 hockey season marks the 10th season of Talk Today supporting junior hockey players and teams. Each year during and around February, CMHA branches as well as leagues and teams in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) come together to celebrate their partnerships on the Talk Today program and to promote mental health awareness.

This year, nearly 200,000 junior hockey fans attended Talk Today games across the CHL (51 games) and CJHL (18 games). The in-arena experience at a Talk Today game often includes a ceremonial puck drop, public address announcements and video board messages throughout the game, and a local CMHA kiosk set up on site where fans can learn more about community-based supports.

On social media, #TalkToday generated 14 million total impressions across social media platforms, reaching 3.8 million people. Engagement is largely driven by participating teams who commonly post videos and photos of players holding placards that display supportive messages about mental health and asking for help.

Following yet another successful Talk Today month, CMHAs would like to thank the partnering leagues and teams for their support in bringing more mental health awareness to hockey communities across Canada.

Since its launch in the Ontario Hockey League in 2014, Talk Today has grown to become 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.

In addition to community awareness, through Talk Today, CMHAs also provide mental health and suicide awareness training to teams, as well as ongoing support as needed. Since its inception, Talk Today has delivered mental health and suicide prevention training and provided resources to more than 10,000 athletes, coaches, billets and team staff in junior hockey, as well as high school, college and university athletics.

Talk Today month in the Ontario Hockey League is presented by Syngenta Canada and Grain Farmers of Ontario. Talk Today in the CJHL is funded by the Fifth Line Foundation and NHL Foundation. We thank our sponsors and funders for their generous support.