Conversations About Mental Health off to a Great Start

July 29, 2015
Noted former National Hockey League (NHL) player and Order of Canada recipient Sheldon Kennedy shares his personal story

Over two hundred attendees were on hand to hear noted former National Hockey League (NHL) player and Order of Canada recipient Sheldon Kennedy share his personal story about sexual assault and abuse and how through his own suffering, healing and open conversation Kennedy has become an inspiration to millions of abuse survivors around the world.

Kennedy’s personal story of sexual assault resulted in charges against his major junior hockey league coach and caused psychological distress and addiction issues. 

Speaking at the first annual Mental Health Conversation Luncheon hosted by Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health (Ontario Shores Foundation), Kennedy stated it’s about connecting the dots and early intervention on mental health issues is key.

“An adult may struggle with drugs and alcohol, depression or other mental health issues as a result of abuse,” shared Kennedy.

Having successfully battled substance abuse, Kennedy is now a strong advocate for mental health and presents all over the world to help others who are struggling.
This inaugural luncheon is part of the drive by Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences to change the way people think about mental illness and mental health.

“These ’conversations’ will help make the issues of mental health care, treatment and recovery a priority in our communities,” said Linda Henry, CEO, Ontario Shores Foundation.

Kennedy had an eight-year career in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins. His life story was made into an award- winning movie and he has been named a Member of the Order of Canada and is a recipient of the Scotiabank Humanitarian Award.

Honourary Chairs for the event were Pat Perkins MP Whitby - Oshawa, Christine Elliott MPP Whitby-Oshawa and Roger Anderson, Regional Chair and CEO Region of Durham.

Kennedy urges early prevention and intervention and an integrated practice approach between clinical workers in the various sectors and community.

“When we create confidence, we create healthy communities.” 

For more information, please contact:

Andrea Marshall
Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905.430.4055 ext. 6581
Cell: 905.439.0224