The National Hockey League Alumni Association and the Ontario Provincial Police are partnering on a joint campaign focused on mental health awareness.
The campaign is aimed to help end the stigma associated with mental health concerns through a series of speaking engagements featuring former NHL players.
The OPP says every organization, community, and individual in some way is affected by mental health issues.
Both the NHLAA and OPP are among the organizations that have been significantly affected in recent years with many similarities between police and professional athletes when it comes to the stigma associated with mental health concerns.
The NHLAA and OPP will host a speakers series to share stories from NHL Alumni members about their personal experiences, and how they were able to overcome their challenges.
Mental health is something that affects us all.
The NHL Alumni Association is proud to enter this partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police to offer help and hope for anyone in a tough spot.
We are focused on making a difference by contributing to the conversation, bringing awareness and putting stigma in the penalty box for those affected today and for our future generations.
– Glenn Healy, Executive Director and President, NHL Alumni Association.
OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique adds, “We are excited to be partnering with the NHLAA on this vital global-wide topic”.
“Mental health awareness is crucial, and conversations about mental health concerns must continue”.
“We hope that by sharing personal experiences and the fears in coming forward about mental health concerns, it will encourage more open and courageous conversations between family, friends, co-workers, and members of the public”.
The first speaker session, titled “Putting Stigma in the Penalty Box,” will showcase Jay Harrison, an NHL Alumni member who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets of the NHL.
Following his retirement from hockey, Harrison received degrees in both psychology and counselling and currently, he works for Game Change, a counselling service designed for athletes.
Because space is limited, the event is open only to the media but you can catch the livestream from the Hockey Hall of Fame at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 18th on the OPP’s Facebook page.
A video will be made available on the OPP’s YouTube channel at OPPCorpComm in the following days after the event.