September 20 2022 The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League is pleased to announce a partnership with Heroic Minds to provide mental health support to players and team officials.
Starting today, all GOJHL athletes and staff will have access to the Heroic Minds platform, developed by Ben Fanelli, captain of the 5-Year OHL remote defense team and former captain of the Kitchener Rangers, Ben Fanelli. More specifically, they will have access to exercises that can influence how they feel, question their way of thinking and provide them with tools for life.
The goal of the Heroic Minds platform is to arm athletes with life tools that they can’t access, don’t see in their social media feeds, or simply aren’t top of mind. This includes psychoeducation, philosophy, psychology, leadership skills, communication skills, relationship skills, and much more. These exercises are delivered via recordings such as podcasts, thinking exercises, powerful daily quotes, and more. Each exercise is less than five minutes long and is stimulating. When users interact with the platform, they earn “hero tokens” that they can use to unlock gift cards or plant trees,” says platform designer Mr. Vanelli. “One of the most important features of the platform is the ability to share exercises with users of the platform,” he says. others, and inspiring a culture of support, compassion and empathy.”
The league has suffered a tragic loss of two players in the past 15 months. Carter Shunderford of the Stratford Warrior committed suicide in 2021 and Captain Eli Balfreeman recently passed away as a result of a health accident between periods of an exhibition game. “No one is immune to mental illness and these heartbreaking events have led to league referees and league presidents taking charge by allocating resources to players, coaches, management and others involved with all of our teams. Whether someone is struggling with mental health issues themselves, or is having a hard time dealing with other tragedies, or simply wants to continue his education on diverse, sometimes difficult subjects, we want services to be available at his fingertips,” said GOJHL Commissioner Brent Garbutt.
Vanelli says that in his podcast he has spoken with more than 100 people who have gone through incredible amounts of ordeal in their lives including illness, amputations, massive stress, loss, suicide, and more. “I noticed that the way these individuals overcame their challenges was different from our current approach to mental health. The current methodology is to take action once a person is already anxious or depressed. Thus, we focus on symptoms of anxiety and depression and direct people to take time off or meditate. for 5 minutes or attending a workshop. We don’t look upstream to reveal why or what tools, ideas, and concepts can block things. Ultimately, we lead people away from experiences, self-reflections, and ideas that can truly improve how they feel, think, and perform.”
For more information, visit https://www.gojhl.ca/ and https://www.heroicminds.live/benfanelli.
About heroic minds
Heroic Minds was born in 2018 when Kitchener Ranger (OHL) alumnus Ben Fanelli started the Heroic Minds Podcast and started his MA in Counseling and Psychology. Heroic Minds takes a proactive approach to mental well-being by delivering psychoeducation, life skills, and tools in a practical, applicable, and fun way.
About the Ontario Hockey League (GOJHL)
The Greater Ontario Ice Hockey League is the Canadian junior ice hockey league based in southern Ontario, Canada. The league is approved by the Ontario Hockey Association, the Ontario Hockey Federation, and Hockey Canada.
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