Coyotes to host Yotes Talk Night on mental health awareness Thursday

Coyotes center Derek Stepan (21) plays against the Nashville Predators during a game Tuesday, Feb. 5 in Nashville, Tenn. [AP Photo/Mark Humphrey]

The Coyotes will host a “Yotes Talk” Night event to raise mental health awareness during the team’s home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday at Gila River Arena in Glendale.

“Yotes Talk” Night is based on the “Hockey Talks” initiative supported by the National Hockey League to encourage conversation about mental health. The Coyotes will join forces with numerous NHL teams to reiterate their commitment to building awareness among fans about mental health, while also supporting the actions of organizations that help those in need.

Do it for Daron

The Coyotes are also proud to support the Do It For Daron (DIFD) initiative which was launched in 2011 by Montreal Canadiens Assistant Coach Luke Richardson and his wife, Stephanie, following the death of their 14-year-old daughter, Daron, who died by suicide the previous year. Daron was the first cousin of Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

The Do It For Daron movement raises awareness and inspires conversations about suicide and youth mental health by promoting open dialogue around these issues to help prevent such tragedies from happening again. To support young people with mental health issues, DIFD has also provided financial support to many education and research projects since its creation, as well as promotes a variety of organizations and resources that offer mental health services to youth in need and their families. To emphasize their support for this cause, the Coyotes coaching staff and management will wear DIFD ties during the game. Jakob Chychrun, along with Coyotes captains Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Derek Stepan will also wear purple ties to the game. In addition, all the Coyotes players will wear DIFD stickers on their helmets during the game.

The new foundation

Recently, Chychrun visited The New Foundation in Scottsdale to meet and support kids who are dealing with mental health issues. The New Foundation’s mission is to help children and families heal through recovery and growth by identifying individual strengths and help them build new foundations. Their therapeutic programs and services are designed to assist youth, aged 11 to 17, in overcoming significant behavioral mental health issues affecting their daily lives. This may include substance abuse and addiction, depression, oppositional and defiant behavior, learning disabilities and other behavioral health issues. From January 31 through the conclusion on the Coyotes versus Blue Jackets game on February 7, Jakob Chychrun will donate $0.06 to The New Foundation for every retweet of his personal mental health message video on Twitter.

Join in on Yotes Talk Night

Fans are encouraged to join the conversation by sharing personal experiences or messages of support via social media by using the hashtag #YotesTalk. #YotesTalk Night will raise awareness about mental health through a variety of outlets, including in-arena messaging, online storytelling, and sharing information and experiences at the Coyotes versus Blue Jackets game on Feb. 7.

Mental health and wellness

Mental illnesses are common in the United States. Nearly one in five U.S. adults lives with a mental illness (44.7 million in 2016). Mental illnesses include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. Young adults aged 18-25 years had the highest prevalence of AMI (22.1 percent) compared to adults aged 26-49 years (21.1 percent) and aged 50 and older (14.5 percent). For more information, please visit:

Editor’s note: The above was republished from an Arizona Coyotes news release.

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