OHA Launches SafeTALK Program

(Photo from OHA)

The OHA announced that they will be the first ever sporting organization to launch a program that will provide SafeTALK training to teams and their communities across Ontario.

SafeTALK training prepares helpers over the age of 15 to identify people with thoughts of suicide and connect them to first aid resources.

OHA Chief Executive Officer Scott Farley says this is a step in the right direction to address the serious problem of youth mental health and suicide in communities,

“Our Junior and Senior teams are a major part of the community fabric in over 100 Ontario communities and by taking a leadership role with this project, we want to demonstrate our commitment to providing resources and educational opportunities to our teams, our players, and also engage the communities in the conversation on this very important topic that in some way has touched each of us.”

A SafeTALK video has also been released featuring former Wingham Ironmen captain Aaron Armstrong along with Brett Heaman of the Stratford Cullitons, Kitchener Rangers coach Troy Smith and former Toronto Maple Leaf Mark Osbourne. In the video Armstrong talks about losing people in his life to suicide and the effect that has had on him.

That video can be found on the OHA website.