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Wheat Kings to Promote Mental Health Awareness

February 25, 2020 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Brandon Wheat Kings News Release

Brandon, MB. - The Brandon Wheat Kings have partnered with Canadian Mental Health Association for a mental health awareness game on Saturday, March 7th when the defending champion Prince Albert Raiders pay a visit to Westoba Place.

The game day experience will have several features to promote the importance of mental health including the following:

A CMHA kiosk will be set up on the concourse where fans can learn more about mental health and the organization's community based services

A special plaque presentation and video scoreboard recognition with CMHA

Videos featuring members of the Wheat Kings talking about the importance of mental health

Public service announcements about mental health and the CMHA

A CMHA fundraising component

This mental health awareness game is part of the Wheat Kings' ongoing partnerhsipo with CMHA and its Talk Today program. Launched across the Western Hockey League in 2016, Talk Today provides an important opportunity to address the mental health needs of players. Through this program, over 800 WHL players and over 100 coaches, billets and staff have received mental health and suicide prevention training across the league.

While elite athletes such as the Brandon Wheat Kings players face unique challenges, it's important to remember that many young people are also under a tremendous amount of stress and pressure to succeed, which increases their risk to mental health issues. 1 in 5 youth struggle with mental health issues, and suicide is the leading cause of non-accidental death for young Canadians.

"By hosting this event next month, the Wheat Kings are hoping to eliminate the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health," says Brandon General Manager Darren Ritchie. "By partnering with the CMHA and the WHL, we're hopefully encouraging discussion within the community about this very important issue."

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 invidudals in need.

Tickets to the this game, Brandon's next home, are on sale now at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling (204) 726-3555 or online at keystonecentre.com

Meanwhile the Wheat Kings kick off a 3-game Central Division tour this Wednesday night in Swift Current against the Broncos.

A Brandon victory on Wednesday will clinch a playoff berth for the WHL club.


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