May 9, 2014 7:53 am

Children’s mental health focus of True North project in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – Children are self-reporting depression, anxiety and stress as early as Grade 4 – and the Winnipeg Jets’ charitable foundation wants to help them.

The True North Foundation, the NHL team’s charitable arm, is putting money made through 50/50 draws at games toward mental-health education curriculum for Grade 5 to 8 students.

The rollout of Project 11 will begin in the coming school year.

The project was started after the death of Rick Rypien, a former player for the Manitoba Moose, the AHL team owned by True North Sports and Entertainment before the Jets came back to Winnipeg. Rypien killed himself months before he was to start playing for the Jets.

“For us and our association with the team, it’s almost like a moral obligation for us to provide this,” said Dwayne Green of the True North Foundation.

RELATED: Mental health education at young age key in reducing stigma: experts

© Shaw Media, 2014

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