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VIDEO: Mental health wellness key of upcoming hockey game

Giants host special CMHA night on home ice in Langley on Friday
“We all go through tough times,” said Giants Matthew Edwards, encouraging people to reach out and ask for help. He’s just one of the team’s players promoting mental health awareness. (Screengrab, Vancouver Giants)

Vancouver Giants and the Canadian Mental Health Association are teaming up to raise awareness about mental health on Friday, when the G-Men take on the Winterhawks on home ice.

The local team takes on Portland at 7 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre, but this event will be about much more than just hockey, explained Giants broacaster Nathan Kanter.

The game day experience will have several features to promote the importance of mental health, he said.

The Vancouver-Fraser branch of CMHA will have a kiosk so fans can learn more about mental health and the organization’s community-based services.

There will be a ceremonial puck drop, as well as videos featuring Giants players talking about the importance of mental health. Plus, there will be public address announcements about mental health.

This mental health awareness game is part of the Giants ongoing partnership with the local chapter of the CMHA and its Talk Today program, Kanter said.

This season, Talk Today is celebrating a major milestone – its 10th season of supporting junior hockey.

Since its launch in 2014, Talk Today has provided an important opportunity to address the mental health needs of hockey players and other athletes across Canada.

From 2014 through the 2022-23 season, nearly 8,600 individuals have received mental health and suicide awareness training through the program. The vast majority of individuals trained are athletes (7,598), but coaches (381), staff (217), billets and parents (400) have also participated in training – helping to create a culture of openness within athlete support networks.

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.

CLICK HERE to read more about Talk Today.

Tickets are still available for the special CMHA night and the showdown against Portland.

Tickets available online.

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