Penguins Announce Hockey Talks Mental Health Awareness Game on January 10

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Penguins Foundation will host the fourth annual Hockey Talks Game, powered by Citrone 33, when the Penguins face the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, January 10 at PPG Paints Arena at 7:00 PM. The event is part of the team’s joint Break the Ice mental health and wellness campaign. All fans attending the game will receive a Hockey Talks #BreakTheIce Knit Hat courtesy of Citrone 33.

Hockey Talks is a program that was inspired by Rick Rypien, former Vancouver Canucks forward, who tragically lost his battle with mental health issues in 2011. Today, clubs across the NHL participate in Hockey Talks by sharing resources, stories and breaking the stigma that often surrounds mental health. The Penguins joined Hockey Talks in partnership with Citrone 33 in 2020 through Break the Ice, a local movement that asks Penguins fans to take positive action regarding their own mental wellness, as well as the mental health of their loved ones, and to assist in building a community that is mentally strong. Fans are encouraged to share how they prioritize their mental wellness by joining the conversation on social media using the hashtags #BreakTheIce and #HockeyTalks. 

Penguins players will wear Hockey Talks decals on their helmets, use branded warm-up pucks and tape their pre-game sticks with green tape, the awareness color for mental health, in support of mental health advocacy. Hockey Talks locker room nameplates will also hang in each player’s stall, which will be included in the Penguins Foundation’s auction at hockeytalks.givesmart.com through January 17 at 12:00 PM. Additional auction items will include autographed mini helmets, #BreakTheIce cards completed by the players and more. Hockey Talks t-shirts and warm-up pucks will also be sold on the concourse. Fundraising proceeds will support the Penguins Foundation’s mental health initiatives.

Citrone 33 will host a pre-game event for local youth hockey players from the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite program. Speakers will include Dr. Kenneth Nash, team psychiatrist for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tyler Smith, a former player for the Humboldt Broncos and survivor of the tragic bus accident in 2018, and Jay Osterman, a representative from MTV who leads the worldwide Mental Health Action Day initiative.

Local organizations will be on-hand behind the Captain Morgan Club during the Hockey Talks Game. Resources will be shared by UPMC Western Behavioral Health, NAMI Keystone PA, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Citrone 33. Fans will also have the opportunity to learn more about MTV’s Mental Health Action Day set for May 18 and the Penguins Foundation’s COOL Zone and MindHacks programs – all supported by Citrone 33.

A focus will also be placed on suicide prevention in our veteran community with organizations represented on-site and a pre-game collection occurring outside PPG Paints Arena. Fans may donate at each entrance to Operation Vet NOW, which works to improve the overall mental wellness of every warrior who served, through outreach events and programs that connect them to the care and support they’ve earned. Members of the Pittsburgh Warriors disabled veteran hockey team will be hosting the collection.

Fans may visit The Milkshake Factory on January 10 in support of Hockey Talks and the Break the Ice campaign. Area locations will be donating 15% of all proceeds to the Penguins Foundation’s mental health initiatives.

Citrone 33 is a proud supporter of the mental health initiatives of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. Citrone 33 works to improve the quality of life for all people by investing in pioneering efforts that advance health, build human capital and promote smart giving. Citrone 33’s primary focus is on mental well-being and the Pittsburgh community; however, their work is worldwide thanks to a relationship with MTV and Mental Health Action Day. This partnership has included the creation of a playbook for sports organizations built from the impact of Break the Ice. To become a partner in Mental Health Action Day or to learn more, visit here.  

To join the Penguins for the Hockey Talks Game, order your tickets here through our mental health advocate ticket offer. Additional resources and information about the Break the Ice campaign in partnership with Citrone 33 may be viewed here.

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