BC Hockey has partnered with “Buddy Check for Jesse” to create awareness for mental health. Buddy Check for Jesse was created by Dr. Stu Gershman who tragically lost his son Jesse to suicide October 29, 2014.
BC Hockey is reaching out to teams to support mental health awareness by participating in Buddy Check for Jesse. The program was developed for hockey coaches to deliver a message to their teams. It began with Jesse’s dad, Dr. Stu Gershman, wanting to help his other two (2) boys feel supported by their teammates, take action to create awareness of mental health challenges, and to be aware that a “team” can be more than just the game on the ice. Dr. Gershman believes that coaches are in a unique position to share this positive message to help raise awareness that mental health issues can affect anyone. The goal of Buddy Check for Jesse is to destigmatize mental health and to empower and encourage youth and young adults to support one another.
During the inaugural partnership with Buddy Check for Jesse and BC Hockey, the program will focus on working with BC Hockey programs and teams within the Greater Victoria area to raise awareness of the program and the importance of mental health. Over the course of this season continual awareness of mental health through this program and many others will continue to be explored.
Individual teams or Minor Hockey Associations (MHA) that would like to take part in the Buddy Check for Jesse program can do so by:
Post pictures on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #BuddyCheckforJesse and #BuddyCheckBC
Buddy Check for Jesse provides free resources such as posters and notes to help coaches share this important message with their teams.
The hope is that teammates will support one another, and become more aware of potential mental health issues, so they are prepared to step in with support when they see a teammate, friend or family member struggling. Jesse’s family hopes that through creating this program in Jesse’s honour, it will help other youth and families.
The Buddy Check for Jesse weekend will be October 27-28, 2018.