There will be no losers, despite the score, as a pair of hockey games featuring young players in Barrie takes place Thursday night, where the focus isn’t on winning, but rather, mental health among youth athletes.
The boys and girls taking part in the 6th Annual Start Talking Cup represent Triple-A and Double-A teams.
The event is hosted by the local Canadian Mental Health Association.
Spokesperson Liz Grummett says they saw how kids were struggling a bit more with stress, especially among Triple-A minor midgets where boys are being potentially drafted.
She says CMHA provides mental health and addiction workshops for each of the players and parents.
“We want these kids to talk about their mental health now so they are able to get help and not struggle.”
According to Grummett, one of the biggest conversations among these young players is balance.
“How do you balance your life? Because they play a lot of hockey. When we talk to the parents, we talk about their perceptions. Maybe they have these big dreams for their kids, and how are they putting that on the kids.”
There is less stigma around mental health and more people are talking about it.
“More kids are trying to get help, which is great,” says Grummett. “The next piece is having enough resources to manage that.
The Start Talking Cup is being held at the Holly Recreation Centre on Mapleton Avenue, on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tickets are only $5 each. There is also a silent auction, interactive booths and a 50/50 draw.
All proceeds stay in the area to support CMHA Simcoe County.
banner image: file photo