Edmonton Oilers’ goalie, Ben Scrivens, along with the Edmonton Oiler’s Community Foundation (EOCF) has launched a new mental health program called Ben’s Netminders. “Ben’s advocacy for mental health awareness this year is an important initiative for the Foundation. He’s been extremely passionate about this cause and has been working closely with mental health groups to make sure this program is done right,” said EOCF Executive Director Natalie Minckler. “Along with Ben’s leadership, the Oilers Foundation is committed to raising mental health awareness and our hope is that this is just the beginning of an ongoing conversation to reduce stigma.”
As part of this program, Scrivens is working with four different artists who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, to design four different masks for mental health that he will wear throughout the season.
“The point is to get people talking about mental health,” says Scrivens. At the end of the hockey season, the masks will be auctioned off to support the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta-Edmonton and mental health awareness.
Scrivens wore his first mask, designed with Richard Boulet, on October 20, 2014. The mask features the words “empathy” and “hope” – two keys words that Boulet wanted to highlight to reflect some of the needs of individuals facing mental illness.
In addition,Scrivens will sponsor 10 tickets for 10 games throughout the 2014-2015 season for deserving young people, aged six to 18, who are living with and are affected by mental health issues. These young people will be chosen from the programs run by the CASA Foundation, Schizophrenia Society of Alberta-Edmonton, Canadian Mental Health Association’s youth program, and Challenge by Choice and the Support Network.