MOUNT FOREST – With the puck drop in front of a packed arena, the 3rd annual “Battle for Mental Health” kicked off at the Mount Forest and District Sports Complex on Dec. 22.
The charity hockey game between Get In Touch For Hutch and Wes for Youth Online raises money in order to break down barriers for those suffering from mental illness.
The hockey teams were made up of friends and local players each wearing the number 37 for Wes Cameron and 44 for Steven Hutchison, who both lost their lives to suicide.
Tanner Mighton, a friend of Wes and Steven, came up with the idea three years ago. He got in touch with Steven’s mother Myrna Hutchison and the Battle for Mental Health was born.
In the last two years, the hockey game has raised $16,000. Every penny made during the event goes directly to online counselling at Wes for Youth Online.
“It is you guys, who are wearing Get In Touch For Hutch or Wes For Youth Online T-shirts, hoodies or hockey jerseys, that are allowing conversations to occur when you least expect it,” said Myrna.
“We’re making this change happen together.”
She added, “One person cannot do this alone and sadly it’s going to take time but I want you all to know that by having those conversations and by being supportive of those who may be struggling that little by little we are removing brick by brick of that nasty wall of stigma that’s such a roadblock for people to reach out for help in their time of need.”
While the Get In Touch For Hutch team grabbed a 7-5 win at the third annual event, “the real win for this game is the awareness, the messages shared, the removal of stigma, and the smiling faces of the players and fans,” said organizer Vickie Mighton.
The game raised around $10,000 with 400 people in attendance.
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