Toronto Maple Leaf Mitchell Marner, and his team at the Marner Assist Foundation (MAF), held the first annual Sink the Stigma event in London, Ont.
On Thursday, the mini-putt fundraiser was held in East Park to support the London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP).
The program is the first in Canada that aims to reverse the “first episodes” of mental illness for youth aged 16-25.
“I think just sometimes people have a lot of weight on their shoulders, and they don’t want to express themselves and talk about it,” Marner told Global News. “Hosting this fundraiser in London not only holds special meaning to me personally but will unite the community and raise funds for mental health programs,”
According to Marner, MAF’s primary goal is to “generate sustainable change for children and youth” as the foundation focuses on children’s social care, health, environmental causes and education.
Mitch Marner was in #ldnont on Thursday at @EastParkLondon as his Marner Assist Foundation launched Sink the Stigma – a celebrity mini-golf tournament – in support of #LHSC’s First Episode Mood & Anxiety Program. #Leafs #nhl https://t.co/Gnv4BU4rwg pic.twitter.com/sVrGmvRJkj
— Mike Stubbs (@stubbs980) September 15, 2022
“Events like Sink the Stigma not only raise critical funds for essential community programs but they also raise awareness for youth mental health by helping fund solutions where they can do the most good,” said Dr. Osuch, founder and physician lead for FEMAP.
“I am grateful for the generosity of our community and events like Sink the Stigma that allow FEMAP to continue making such a huge a difference in the lives of young people.”
Participants of Sink the Stigma got the chance to not only meet Marner, but celebrity guests such as country star Tim Hicks, Olympians Alex Kopacz, Alysha Newman and former NHL Hockey Player Mike Krushelnyski.
Hicks said that talking about mental health is important “now more than ever.”
“We really do need to ‘Sink the Stigma’ around mental health,” he said. “It’s nothing to be ashamed about, it’s nothing to feel strange about, I think that the best way to do it is just get out there and feel free to talk about it because that’s healing in and of itself.”
event will continue the conversion to address those preconceptions,” Toronto Maple Leaf Mitchell Marner told Global News at the first annual Sink the Stigma fundraiser event in London, Ont., Thursday Sept. 15.” caption=”“Mental health is stigmatized, and I hope this event will continue the conversion to address those preconceptions,” Toronto Maple Leaf Mitchell Marner told Global News at the first annual Sink the Stigma fundraiser event in London, Ont., Thursday Sept. 15.” credit=”Mike Stubbs / 980 CFPL”]
Marner added that he hopes the new annual fundraiser will bring the community together and show the power and importance of working together as a team.
“Without a team, it’s a hard fight,” he said. “In this mental health fight, there’s always a team around you that’s willing to talk and always willing to hear you out and that’s the kind of thing that we’re trying to get out there and the stigma gone.
“Mental health is stigmatized, and I hope this event will continue the conversion to address those preconceptions,” he added.
— with files from Global News’ Mike Stubbs
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