Thursday, February 18, 2016
Chiefly About Drugs
Chilliwack hockey team dedicates game to youths Feb 21
Asma Farooq, CDFD
From left to right: Dan Bibby, Community Manager at the Ministry of Child and Family Development; Glen Ringdal, Chilliwack Chiefs President; Aiden Pelino, Jordan Kawaguchi, and Linden Hora Chilliwack Chiefs players; Sean Morden, Malcolm Thompson, youth from the LAT.
he Chilliwack Local Action Team (LAT) for the Child and Youth Mental Health Substance Use Collaborative has joined forces with the BC Hockey League (BCHL), Chilliwack Chiefs, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, to raise mental health awareness at the February 21 Minor Hockey Night game.
The Minor Hockey Night game against the Cowichan Capitals is geared towards families, complete with live entertainment and bouncy castles.
Local community organizations are coming together to raise mental health awareness at this game. Agencies that offer mental health support and services will also be on site with resources and information about local and regional services. Kicking off with a youth puck drop, game night will showcase clips from a newly developed mental health awareness video.
Buy tickets here or call 604-392-4433 or visit the Box Office at Prospera Centre. If you are purchasing tickets online and use the code HEALTH, $3 from each ticket will go towards supporting mental health at the Chilliwack General Hospital.
This collaboration comes a few months after CMHA and the BCHL announced a new program Talk Today, which is aimed at providing hockey players and their billet families with mental health education and resources in the community. Chilliwack Chiefs coach, Jason Tatarnic, shares why this matters, “The game of hockey is a physical game and stress is always tough, mentally and physically, on the body. It’s easy for the players and the coaches to forget the mental health aspect, and so we need to pay attention to that side of the game.” The age of BCHL hockey players is 16-20 years old.
Efforts to put mental health in the spotlight have been inspired by youth on the Chilliwack LAT. From there they formed a task group to develop a video to raise mental health awareness, featuring several Chilliwack Chiefs hockey players and youth. 18 year-old Malcolm Thompson, who led the filming and editing process, says the experience “was amazing and it really opened my eyes to the impact mental health has on youth.” Speaking to the importance of youth leadership, Chilliwack LAT Coordinator, Tatiana Carrizo shares, “There is no better way to reach youth, than to have youth spread the message. Working alongside the youth and hockey players and being witness to their passion and drive in the development process of the video was empowering.”
Featuring two of the Chilliwack LAT co-chairs; local family physician, Dr. Melanie Madill, and Community Manager at the Ministry of Child and Family Development, Dan Bibby, the video aims to raise the issue of mental health stigma and reinforce the message that it's okay to talk to someone. Discussing mental health from the perspective of a health care professional, Dr. Madill, says “We all need to talk sometimes. And sometimes it's about things like depression, anxiety, addiction, or psychosis. Our goal is to start the conversation and challenge youth to begin where you are with the person next to you."
The video also highlights the Chilliwack Youth Health Centre (CYHC) as a local hub for health care services, specifically for youth and young adults aged 12-26 years. They are open every Tuesday at two locations; the Neighbourhood Learning Centre and Sto:lo Community Health Centre. In total, the two CYHC sites had over 750 appointments in 2015 from youth and young adults seeking mental and medical health services.
For more information, visit www.chilliwackyhc.com
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