Kudos to the NOJHL commish

December 9, 2015

Commissioner Robert Mazzuca and the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League are to be commended for taking an initiative to team up with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“This is the most profound off-ice program the NOJHL may ever do for the players and a very-proud moment for this commissioner,” Mazzuca told HockeyNewsNorth.com.

Under its partnership, the NOJHL and the CMHA will work together with Talk Today, which is one of the most comprehensive mental health education programs for amateur sports in Canada.

In this instance, Talk Today, is aimed at helping all players within the 12-team NOJHL — as well as the individuals who support them — to identify mental health issues and address suicide.

Mazzuca confirmed that Talk Today is a mandatory program for all 12 NOJHL clubs and will be delivered through partnerships with CMHA outlets in Cochrane-Temiskaming, Muskoka-Parry Sound, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury-Manitoulin.

The Talk Today program consists of several components including mental health and suicide-awareness workshops, CMHA mental health coaches, NOJHL mental health team representatives and community awareness events.

“Mental health should no longer be a subject that is taboo around the rink,” Mazzuca added. “Our partnership with CMHA branches in Northern Ontario aims to increase awareness about mental health issues and suicide, making our league a better and safer place for the players we support.”

Kevin Cain, president and director of hockey operations for the reigning NOJHL champion Soo Thunderbirds, was quick to voice his support for the league’s initiative in addressing mental health issues that include anxiety and depression.

“Personally, I have been on medication related to anxiety for a number of years now,” Cain said candidly, while appearing on a recent edition of the Hockey North Show, which airs on Sault Ste. Marie radio station ESPN 1400.

“Our commissioner deserves a lot of credit for initiating this project with the help of the Canadian Mental Health Association,” added Cain. “This is another example of our league stepping up to try to do all that we can to help our players.”

What you think about “Kudos to the NOJHL commish”

  1. Great example that the NOJHL is “more than just hockey” / that they really do care for all of there players. Hats off to Robt Mazzucca and the entire N.O.J.H.L.

  2. A proud moment for the NOJHL and the commissioner.
    I am sure I would be remiss if I did not praise the commissioner on behalf of the kids, their families and their friends.

  3. A marvellous initiative by a forward-thinking Commissioner! I would imagine a susceptible group would be young men who had dominated in minor hockey, but for whatever reason, haven’t achieved their dream of playing pro, and realize it in Junior A. Some help at this vulnerable stage could make all the difference,

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