Posts Tagged ‘#BellLetsTalkDay’

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VANCOUVER, B.C –  Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, an opportunity to help open doors, shine a spotlight on mental health issues and raise awareness to help end the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Everyone knows somebody battling mental health issues. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or what you’ve done in life. There are no days off. Mental health awareness is important and it’s crucial that people are more open to talking about it.

How important is mental health?

“Extremely important,” Whitecaps FC’s Russell Teibert told reporters this week. “It’s a topic of conversation globally now in any work place, setting. Whether it’s a kid in elementary school or someone working a nine to five job, or even in professional sports. It’s a topic that needs to be talked about.”

“We’re fortunate to have Bell as a sponsor. They’re on the front of our jerseys, our super cool jerseys. It’s important for it to be talked about. That’s what it is, Bell Let’s Talk.”

Athletes are constantly under pressure to perform and live up to their contracts. Players, fans, and media demand to see them at their best. Just like you, when you’re not always at your best, athletes sometimes don’t deliver in the crunch.

“A lot of people probably don’t even know that they suffer from something like this,” Whitecaps FC’s Doneil Henry told Har Journalist. “It’s good to just engage in conversation, and let people know that it’s good to get things of their chest and raise awareness of what it is. That’s the key.”

We live in a society with less, and less privacy. Social media is a great online tool that allows you to express yourself, but it can also cause hurt. Everyone goes through life’s challenges. Talking about those challenges can help end the stigma and raise awareness.

“I think now with even social media, information, and everything that you have as information,” Coach Marc Dos Santos explained. “Just regularly everyday, people are becoming more aware of a lot of different types of issues. It’s a good initiative from everybody to highlight that, and make everybody aware, and sensitive to a cause like this.”

The 26 year-old Teibert doesn’t want people to be afraid of opening up and sharing life’s obstacles. The more you talk about something, the less likely you are to be consumed, worried and afraid of it.

“Everyone goes through mental health,” Teibert said. “No matter who you are, how extreme, or severe, everybody goes through mental health. A friend of mine who I met through a charitable organization explained mental health the best to me.”

“Mental health is like weeds in the garden. If you don’t do the weeding in the garden, what you’re trying to grow will not prosper. If you talk about it. If you’re open with it and you understand that mental health is not something to be hidden or to be afraid of. You’ll end up being able to talk about it with ease and confidence, and know that it’s not something you should hide or fear.”

If you get hit in the head, sprain your foot, or break your hand, you get treatment and a return to play recovery schedule. There’s always a plan to bounce back from a physical injury. The same can’t be said for mental health issues. You can go to the doctor for both, but only one is generally talked about and visually seen.

That needs to change.

“If you have a hamstring strain, you do the necessary things to treat that injury,” Teibert explained. “It’s not something that…. oh the hamstring will get better on its own. It’s something that you need to address. There’s things that you can do to address your mental health. Whether that is talking about it or seeing a professional that can help you. I think the most important thing is having a strong background whether that’s your family, support team, that’s able to help you and coach you through it.”

If you need help or someone to talk to find support among your family, and friends.

“In life we go through different situations that are unique,” Dos Santos added. “It’s always good to be surrounded by good friends, family, and people that love you to make sure that you’re in the right environment to grow, and achieve your dreams regardless of the position you’re in.”

Bell Let’s Talk Day is a once a year innovative, but it’s a strong reminder that we all can do more to continue raising awareness to help our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbours dealing mental health issues.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Whitecaps FC story on Bell Let’s Talk day.

http://www.rednationonline.ca/Articles2016/WhitecapsplayersshowsupportforBellLetsTalk.aspx

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****(Photo by Wilson Wong/UBC Athletics 2015 All Rights Reserved)****

UBC Thunderbirds goalkeeper, Laura Taylor. Photo Credit: UBC Athletics

VANCOUVER, B.C – The UBC Thunderbirds will honour the life and memory of Thunderbirds goalkeeper, Laura Taylor on Friday, January 6 prior to puck drop against the visiting Alberta Pandas. Taylor, tragically took her own life last April, just days before her 34th birthday.

Laura Taylor’s number 29 jersey will be retired by the Thunderbirds. The Taylor family will be part of a pre-game ceremony, as well as other on, and off ice components. Guests include UBC President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Santa Ono, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dermot Kelleher, and UBC Department of Athletics Director, Gord Hopper.

The UBC Thunderbirds family want to shine the spotlight on mental health awareness issues and open a positive dialogue for anyone going through a tough time. The Thunderbirds have reached out to Bell Let’s Talk, and partners on the UBC campus. Coach Graham Thomas wants to remember Laura, and also help to anyone else struggiling.

“The overall goal besides remembering and honouring Laura, is also awareness for mental health,” said Thomas. “Just getting rid of that stigma and getting the awareness out there of starting the conversation. Bell-Let’s-Talk is involved, and there’s a bunch of partners involved on campus with mental health and suicide awareness. It’s obviously a great cause, and we’re getting a lot of athletes, people, and other groups behind it. Hopefully it will be a good turnout and a good event for awareness.”

Anyone who wants to make a donation to help raise awareness for mental health issues will be able to that at booths setup along the main concourse of the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. Fans are encouraged to show support by wearing green. The Thunderbirds have also been given the go ahead for a chuck-a-puck fundraiser that will help raise money for mental health issues.

“We’re doing a new draw for all of our home games,” revealed Thomas. “It’s called chuck-a-puck. Fifty percent will go to the winner, and fifty percent of the proceeds in all the games will go to mental health awareness. They’ll have two or three different booths setup at the game, there will be opportunities to donate at the game and contribute to some different charities and foundations.”

People look up to athletes and think they’re invincible, that’s not the case. UBC Thunderbirds captain, Stephanie Schaupmeyer and her teammates have the ability to help raise awareness, and they want to help. A mental health issue can occur with anyone, it’s extremly important to speak openly about it and seek help if you need it.

“I think it’s so huge, especially as athletes,” said Schaupmeyer. “I think sometimes people think, we’re tough, we’re strong, we have our teammates, it doesn’t affect us. I think that couldn’t be more wrong. Mental illnesses aren’t discriminatory, and they aren’t picky about who they choose to trouble people with. I think it’s important that as athletes, we’re speaking up together.”

Laura’s time with the Thunderbirds was memorable. She was a leader and mentor and helped UBC win a silver medal at the 2016 CIS Nationals. Taylor might not have been on the ice for every game, but she was just as hard-working, passionate, and thrilled to be UBC Thunderbird.

“She was so dedicated, she loved hockey, loved the game, very smart, intelligent, caring, and helpful,” said Thomas. “(Laura) was acting in a mentorship role. She was going to be a neurosurgeon. As an older mature person, that’s the way she came in and that was her role and what she played into right away. She didn’t inform anybody about what she had gone through in her past, and what she was dealing with, which is the unfortunate part of the help piece. She was just so caring and giving, and thinking about others. We will always remember, appreciate, and respect that.”

When UBC looks to add to a fourteen game winning streak vs Alberta. They will no doubt have Laura cheering them on and supporting them from a far better place. That’s just the way Laura was with her teammates, excited, and ready for the next big team adventure.

“Laura was the kind of person that would light up a room when she walked in, said Schaupmeyer. “She had this insanely big contagious smile. She always had her phone out to document what was going on. She just loved being a part of the team, and we loved having her as part of the team. She will always be part of the team.”

http://memorial.supporting.ubc.ca/laura-taylor/

Notes: #BellLetsTalk day is Wednesday, January 25, 2017.

 

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Whitecaps Bell Let’s Talk Day story.

http://www.rednationonline.ca/Articles2016/Whitecapsseeimportancefor2016BellLetsTalk.aspx

Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted after training at UBC.

Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted after training at UBC.

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