Tournament takes place at Fuller Lake Arena Jan. 5 and 6.

Hockey tournament creates awareness for mental health

Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association is hosting a Bantam C tournament Saturday and Sunday, combining it with the Buddy Check for Jesse program for awareness of mental health.

The bulk of the action takes place at Fuller Lake Arena. Games are at 7 a.m., 8:30, 10, 11:30, 1 p.m., 2:30, 4 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday and at 7 a.m., 8:30, 10 and 11:30 Sunday before the scene switches to the Island Savings Centre Arena in Duncan for the final four games at 2:30 p.m., 4, 5:30 and 7.

Buddy Check for Jesse was created by Dr. Stu Gershman, who tragically lost his son Jesse to suicide October 29, 2014.

BC Hockey has partnered with Buddy Check for Jesse to create awareness for mental health.

The program was developed for hockey coaches to deliver a message to players. It began with Gershman, who wanted to help his other two 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 coaches are in a unique position to share this positive message to help raise awareness that mental health issues can affect anyone.

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