The Saskatchewan Roughriders are launching a new mental health initiative for Saskatchewan. youth

The Saskatchewan Roughriders Foundation has announced a new mental wellness initiative for Saskatchewan youth.

In partnership with the Department of Education, the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation announced Thursday the release of the « Game Changers Playbook. » The playbook is a collection of ministry-approved mental health resources that are evidence-based and curriculum-linked.

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« It’s okay not to feel like yourself, » Saskatchewan Roughriders center Dan Clark said. « It’s good to be able to talk about your emotions, to talk about how you feel. And we want to be able to give young people the tools to understand that they know they don’t feel good.

The Game Changers Playbook is intended to provide children with an easily accessible resource they can turn to for mental health help and to find out what they can do to help others.

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It’s something Clark said he didn’t even think about when he was in school.

« These programs weren’t even on the radar, » Clark said. « It was something that was not normal to talk about.

Clark believes that if people his age and members of the community can open up and talk about their feelings, it will only help young people to do the same.

« Weighing in at 300 pounds and being a big, larger-than-life figure in the community, it’s something (people often say) that ‘this guy obviously has it all,' » Clark said. « But I’m like everyone else.

« I deal with things in my life that have caused me trauma, that have caused me stress, that have caused me anxiety. But how can I open up to future young people to let them know that you are not alone?”

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The foundation has worked with several youth mental wellness organizations to provide the resources free of charge to all schools in the province. Each organization brings different lessons to the playbook, and they are available immediately.

Organizations include:

  • Strong Minds Strong Kids, Psychology Canada – Kids have stress too! and lessons on stress
  • Kids Help Phone – Classroom Speaker
  • SaskTel – Be Kind Online
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada – The Working Mind for Sport Leaders

“The more we talk about mental wellness, the less stigma there is and the more children it will help,” said Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation CEO Cindy Fuchs. « We want to continue to be leaders in this change. »

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The Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation has also created the “Win ​​with Wellness” series of presentations to accompany the resources already provided in the playbook.

Presentations will see trained player ambassadors visit classrooms across Saskatchewan to present and promote discussion about youth mental wellness. Educators will be able to book these presentations in the coming months.

« We are seeing greater interest and demand from students for these supports, » Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. « We’re going to make it available in every school and every student will have access to it and every teacher will have access to support. »

A copy of the playbook can be found on the Saskatchewan Roughriders website.

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