Warlocks’ Stick It To Stigma Returns
(WINDSOR, ON) – After the shining success of last year’s Stick It To Stigma mental health days, this Tuesday and Wednesday at the Forest Glade Arena, the Windsor Warlocks Minor Lacrosse Association is bringing back the event to promote mental health, community, and safety for the people of Windsor and Essex County.
“The Stick It To Stigma event last year was successful and seemed to be supported as well as enjoyed by our Warlock players and family,” said Warlocks’ vice president John Salaris.
In conjunction with their governing body, Zone 7 Lacrosse, and in partnership with the other zone teams, the Sarnia Pacers, London Blue Devils, and Wallaceburg Red Devils, the Warlocks’ two-day event was well received by the members of the organization and the general public as a whole.
This past November, the Ontario Lacrosse Association honoured Zone 7 Lacrosse and its members for the initiative.
“The Warlocks, along Sarnia, London, and Wallaceburg, were recognized and awarded for embracing such an important topic,” said Salaris. “Zone 7 has been asked to conduct modules on our program at future OLA semi-annual general meetings to provide information and guidance to other zones and organizations looking to conduct events in their respective areas.”
“Last year’s inaugural Stick it Stigma event was a big success, all to the credit of John Salaris who organized it and the three organizations that were kind enough to participate,” praised Warlocks’ registrar Nicole Coffey.
“Last season, the initiative was new for us in the Warlocks organization, so I think we did a good job in getting people involved in the event to, at least, get the conversation started about mental health awareness in our youth and the resources that are available in our area for families.”
Salaris points to how athletics and connecting with people can be beneficial in the fight for mental health.
“Sports and the relationships that can be built through them are excellent ways to balance mental health and break down barriers that may keep people from seeking help,” he said.
“This year, the committee involved with our event here in Windsor felt that activities with more of a mental health component would be a great way to offer more education and we feel we have come up with some that should accomplish that.
“We will have the support of Maryvale, Regional Children’s Centre and Children First once again this year.”
Coffey added, “Joining the conversation this year [will be the] local first responders from Windsor Fire and Windsor Essex EMS.”
The hope is to connect with people with more of a focus on the health side of things.
“We have come up with some ways to get players and families to filter through the agency tables to gain information as we felt that component was lacking,” said Salaris.
“We have some very specific activities planned for the kids to get more involved and learn some ways to cope with anxiety and mental health issues that they may face,” added Coffey.
It is all about creating a safe place for youth to grow.
“As an organization of approximately 300 youth, it is important for us to be able to provide all of the resources we can and support our families in regards to mental health,” said Coffey.
“The Windsor Minor Lacrosse Association obviously want to provide a fun environment where players can play the great game of lacrosse and improve their skill-set,” said Salaris. “We also want all of our Warlock players and families to feel safe, supported, and to provide an environment where there is no fear, embarrassment, or shame in seeking help even if it is outside the boundaries of lacrosse.”