Jordin Tootoo and Josh Gorges speak about their hockey experiences with Hometown Hockey co-host Tara Slone. (Mackenzie Britton/Kelowna Capital News)

Former NHL star Jordin Tootoo to speak in Kelowna for suicide prevention week

NHL alumni Jordin Tootoo visits Kelowna Wednesday to help spread mental health awareness

Former NHL star Jordin Tootoo will be visiting Kelowna to share his experiences with mental health on Wednesday.

Tootoo played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League and is a best-selling author. Tootoo will share his story at This is What Hope Looks Like, a sold-out speaking event and fundraiser for mental health charity Third Space Life Charity this Wednesday, Sept. 11. at the Innovation Centre from 6 to 9 p.m.

Third Space is a Kelowna-based mental health charity that makes clinical counseling accessible to those who otherwise might not be able to afford it.

“Mental health challenges and addiction are real issues in our community,” Tootoo said in a news release. “Let’s all work together to ensure resources are available to those who need them”

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Tootoo will join the discussion of suicide prevention, sharing the story of his brother Terence who took his own life in 2002.

In memory of his brother, Jordin has created the Team Tootoo Fund to raise awareness for suicide prevention and youth at risk, all while dealing with his own alcohol addiction and family history of mental illness.

Third Space Life Charity Founder Ken Stober truly understands the value Tootoo brings to the discussion. He says many dealing with mental illness don’s have the resources to combat it and that needs to change.

“We believe counseling and mental health support shouldn’t be a luxury for the few,” Stober said.

“Our goal is to remove barriers surrounding mental health in the Okanagan, whether they be financial or stigma-related. We are incredibly grateful to have an individual like Jordin here in the Okanagan, using his platform to speak boldly and courageously about his journey.”

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