VMHA is proud to be part of the Buddy Check for Jesse program that will take place from October 25 – 28, 2019BC Hockey and Buddy Check for Jesse have partnered again for the 2019-2020 season 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. This year we have expanded the program to all Minor Hockey Associations (MHAs) registered with BC Hockey.The Buddy Check for Jesse 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.This year, based on their funding, we are able to send Buddy Check for Jesse packages to 1100 teams throughout the province. All MHA Pee Wee and Bantam teams will receive a package that include rolls of green tape, wristbands, and printed materials.
All VMHA teams that would like to take part in the Buddy Check for Jesse program can do so by:
- Taping your stick with green tape in the dressing room prior to a game (or practice) on the weekend of October 25-28, 2019
- Print off the wallet cards and coaches notes and deliver a discussion to your team prior to a game or practice.
- Post pictures on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #BuddyCheckforJesse, #BuddyCheckBC, #vanminorhockey and @vanminorhockey
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.