The Gatineau Olympiques, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the Quebec Association for Suicide Prevention (AQPS) and Centre d’aide 24/7, are joining forces to raise awareness of the importance of mental health during the club’s next home game.
This Friday night’s contest against the Sherbrooke Phoenix – which is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. – will feature:
* A kiosk hosted by staff from Centre d’aide 24/7 and Fondation Lani to learn more about mental health and suicide prevention;
* Public address announcements throughout the evening about mental health.
The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by the Olympiques, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Centre d’aide 24/7, the Regroupement des organismes communautaires en santé mentale de l’Outaouais (ROCSMO), and the Quebec Association for Suicide Prevention, to implement Talk Today. This program provides mental health support to players and raises awareness about mental health and suicide prevention throughout communities across the QMJHL.
A key piece of the program has been to educate players about mental health and suicide prevention. Every team has received mental health training specific to suicide prevention. Each team is also linked to a CMHA Mental Health Coach, who provides support and mental health resources to individuals in need.
“As general manager of Centre d’aide 24/7, and on behalf of all the people whose lives have been touched by mental health and suicide prevention, I would sincerely like to express our gratitude towards the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and particularly to our local team, the Gatineau Olympiques. Their participation in the Talk Today campaign and their involvement in fighting the stigma associated with mental health is a step in the right direction to make our day-to-day mission even more known to the public,” said Benoit Plamondon, general manager of Centre d’aide 24/7.
“The Olympiques are proud to join the QMJHL and the other teams from the League in the Talk Today program. In an era like the one we’re in right now, where everything goes so fast, just like in hockey games, it is really important to take the time to talk about our problems with loves ones and to avoid confining ourselves. That is exactly what we’ll try to encourage our fans to do on February 22,” mentioned Martin Lacasse, president of the Gatineau Olympiques.
Fans can purchase tickets for the game at the Robert-Guertin box office from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or online at ovation.qc.ca.