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6 February 2023
(St. Catharines, February 6, 2023) – The Niagara Ice Dogs have partnered with Canadian Mental Health Association, Niagara Branch for a mental health awareness game on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 7 pm, presented by Syngenta and Grain Farmers of Ontario, when the Niagara Ice Dogs take on the Hamilton Bulldogs at Meridian Centre.
The game day experience will have several features to promote the importance of mental health, including:
This mental health awareness game is part of the Niagara Ice Dog’s ongoing partnership with CMHA Niagara and its Talk Today program, presented by Syngenta and Grain Farmers of Ontario. Originally launched by CMHA Ontario in partnership with the Ontario Hockey League in 2014, Talk Today provides an important opportunity to address the mental health needs of athletes across Canada. Through this program, over 1,450 OHL players and over 550 coaches, billets and staff have received mental health and suicide prevention training across the league.
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.
“Every year, 1 in 5 people in Canada experiences a mental illness or mental health issue, but 5 in 5 of – that’s all people – have mental health just like we have physical health, and everyone deserves to feel well” said Tara McKendrick, executive director of CMHA Niagara.” In order to thrive we all need a good sense of self, and we all need purpose, contribution, hope, resilience and belonging. There is a common misperception that “good mental health” means feeling happy and “bad mental health” means feeling sad. In fact, a mentally healthy life includes the full range of human emotions—even the uncomfortable ones like sadness, fear, and anger.”
“Mental wellness is a priority area of focus for Grain Farmers of Ontario as we look to help Ontario grain farmers struggling with mental health issues and to remove any stigma still associated with talking about mental health or seeking help,” said Paul Hoekstra, Vice President, Strategic Development, at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “A program like the OHL and CMHA’s Talk Today helps start much-needed conversations and educate people about mental health issues. We are thrilled to partner with Syngenta and the OHL to provide this vital program.”
“Hockey is a part of many farming communities, so it’s natural for us to get involved in such an important cause,” said Norm Sutherland, District Manager, Syngenta Canada. “At Syngenta, we prioritize mental wellbeing for our employees and for our customers. Just as mental health should be talked about in the dressing room, it’s a necessary discussion on the farm, where daily stresses can take their toll. We’re grateful to work alongside CMHA, the OHL, and Grain Farmers of Ontario to elevate the mental health conversation and provide support in rinks and farming communities across the province.”
Tickets for the game are still available. For more information contact (905) 687-3641.
Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies, comprised of Syngenta Crop Protection and Syngenta Seeds. Our ambition is to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. We aim to improve the sustainability, quality and safety of agriculture with world-class science and innovative crop solutions. Our technologies enable millions of farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources. Syngenta Crop Protection and Syngenta Seeds are part of Syngenta Group with 49,000 people in more than 100 countries working to transform how crops are grown. Through partnerships, collaboration and The Good Growth Plan, we are committed to accelerating innovation for farmers and nature, striving for carbon neutral agriculture, helping people stay safe and healthy, and partnering for impact.
About Grain Farmers of Ontario:
Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover over 6 million acres of farmland across the province, generate over $4.1 billion in production value, result in over $18 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 75,000 jobs in the province.
About Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario:
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario is a not-for-profit, charitable organization funded by the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We work to improve the lives of all Ontarians through leadership, collaboration and continual pursuit of excellence in community-based mental health and addictions services. Our vision is a society that embraces and invests in the mental health of all people. We are a trusted advisor to government, contributing to health systems development through policy formulation and recommendations that promote positive mental health. Our 30 local CMHA branches, together with community-based mental health and addictions service providers across the province, serve approximately 500,000 Ontarians each year.
About the Ontario Hockey League:
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. Last season, more than nine million fans attended CHL games in the regular season, playoffs and at the Mastercard Memorial Cup. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U Sports than any other league. For more information, visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com.