Face Off for Mental Health, News (Point Edward Minor Athletic Association)

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Face Off for Mental Health
Submitted By Lori Guthrie on Wednesday, November 1, 2017
The Point Edward Minor Athletic Association has partnered with St. Clair Child and Youth Services.  We are participating in an important county wide campaign called “Face Off for Mental Health”.  Our goal is to raise the profile of mental health issues for children and youth.  It is a well documented fact that 1 in 5 children are struggling with a mental health issue.  This translates to one player on every line, approximately 3-4 players on any given team from Mite to Midget.  In light of this fact, several associations across Lambton County have joined forces to accomplish the important task of raising awareness for mental health for children and youth.   

In September, our bench staff were invited to participate in an information session which focused upon ensuring volunteers had the appropriate information to support players and direct them (and their family members) to the appropriate resource in our community.  This session was well attended with representation across each division in our program. Since then, we provided each player with a roll of green hockey tape.  The plan is for all player to “go green”, taping their stick green for both home and away games (including any tournaments) for the entire month of November.  This will serve as visual reminder for our players, fans and executive.  It will help raise awareness and stomp the stigma surrounding mental health.   

If a referee or a player on an opposing team is curious, we are encouraging our players to share the reason behind their sticks being taped green.  For the month of November, our Face Off for Mental Health banner will hang from the press box and green ribbons will be available free of charge and can be pinned to a jacket etc. The gate duty parent will have them with the cash box.   

On November 18th, St. Clair Child and Youth Services will be on site at our rink.  A table with resources and information with be set up to the right of the canteen.  Please feel free to visit with their volunteer and learn more about Lambton County’s lead agency for Children’s Mental Health.  Being aware of the services available in your community is so very important.  You never know when a friend, family member or your own player might be struggling with mental health issues. We are hoping this campaign will reach other Associations throughout OMHA.  A Provincial initiative would be amazing!.  Knowledge is power…let’s become more aware, informed and powerful as an organization.   Thank you to St. Clair Child and Youth Services for inviting us to participate in such an exciting movement!

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