Recent suicide tragedies involving high school students in North Battleford has drawn the attention of one high-profile mental health advocate and now he is coming to the community with his mental health message..On the evening of March 15 at the North Battleford Civic Centre, Michael Landsberg – one of Canada’s most popular sports broadcasters – and his special guests will deliver a free show that will focus on educating and inspiring those interested in mental health.
“On a personal level I have a deep emotional attachment to the Battlefords,” says Landsberg. “It runs from the childhood home of Wade Belak to the home of my friend Tyson Williams.”
Sponsored and produced with the help of Cameco, the show on March 15 will include CFL all- star Weston Dressler, Canadian rock band One Bad Son, Canadian country singer-songwriter Beverley Mahood, Grey Cup champion Chris Getzlaf and more.
The host of TSN’s Off The Record for 18 years before moving to his current role at TSN sports radio in Toronto, Landsberg also operates the mental health charity #SickNotWeak.
“On a charity level #SickNotWeak made the decision to travel to the Battlefords because we believe we can bring a bit of hope, a bit of learning and a bit of joy to a community that needs a lot of each,” says Landsberg.
“We could not ignore the tragedies that this wonderful community has experienced. We hope our raw, emotional, candid way of talking about mental health will help show people that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but rather something to be treated.”
More information on the March 15 show can be found on Facebook at SickNotWeak in The Battlefords.
Lansberg is a sports broadcaster best known from TSN’s Off the Record. Landsberg, who has publicly documented his own struggles with depression, offered support to the Battlefords on social media including Twitter and YouTube earlier this year when the community was rocked by student suicides.
Landsberg offered his support through his not-for-profit corporation # SickNotWeak. According to its webpage, its objectives include “to help people understand that mental illness is a sickness, NOT a weakness.”
On his “Daily Landsblog” on Jan. 24, on YouTube, the popular host offered his support to the community.
“It’s so devastating, it’s unimaginable,” Landsberg said. “I can’t even think of a single thing I could say to a parent who’s lost a child to suicide.”
He urged his viewers to provide feedback on what he should say to the North Battleford community, and offered his own thoughts.
“It’s about talk, it’s about communication,” Landsberg said. “It’s about wherever you are, in whatever community you are in, in whatever group you hang out in – you need to converse.”
Landsberg also voiced his support for the community on Twitter. He responded to a Tweet from @YAM_YouAreMore, who encouraged Landsberg to go speak at the schools and the community in North Battleford.
“A public call out? Really? No choice now but 2 say yes. I have no choice but to say #SickNotWeak needs to find a way to go to The Battlefords & try in some tiny way to make a difference. So beware celebs who will talk mental Heath- expect a call. Me & Battleford will be calling.”
Landsberg added one more Tweet that read as follows:
“The Battlefords- a community of just over 20,000 people has lost 3 young people to suicide this month. No one can say whether any of them could be prevented. But I am here to say that the worst thing we can do is to remain silent. Talk. Share. Learn. #SickNotWeak”