News and Events

Former NHL athlete leads discussion around mental health

April 6, 2021

Committed to building a stronger, more resilient community through mental health education and research, Medicine Hat College (MHC), on behalf of the Brandon Niwa Legacy Fund – The Beej Project, has partnered with I Got Mind (IGM) to engage our region in important conversations around trauma, grief and loss.

Let’s Talk about Trauma, Grief and Loss includes two webinars and two support sessions, led by former National Hockey League (NHL) athlete and IGM president, Bob Wilke.
Participating in the conversation is a panel of clinical psychologists, mental health clinicians, and notable guests.

Among the panelists, sharing their own personal mental health experiences, is former NHL goaltender Clint Malarchuk; Medicine Hat Tigers head coach, Willie Desjardins; amateur scout for the Calgary Flames, Darren Kruger; as well as local Chief of Police with the Medicine Hat Police Service, Mike Worden.

Jennifer Kerslake, director of community engagement at MHC, highlights the importance of mental health education as a key component to building resiliency as individuals and a community.

“The mental health professionals and advocates with I Got Mind bring years of experience and expertise, as well as a platform and safe space for our community to keep the conversation going and learn more about mental health,” says Kerslake. “We’re looking forward to learning from personal stories of healing and resiliency, as well as gaining insightful knowledge and valuable tools that we can take with us as we continue down our own individual paths towards positive mental health and wellbeing.”

Wilke says his organization is excited to educate and support the community members of southern Alberta, having shared a personal connection to the area for the past eight years, in working with the Medicine Hat Tigers as well as many other local organizations.

“The events our team of dedicated mental health experts and advocates have planned will have a significant impact - as this is what I Got Mind is all about,” says Wilke. “We have been supporting communities within western Canada for the last twelve years. I can empathize with the families who have lost, or are struggling, as my own history with trauma, grief, loss, and mental health took a significant toll on me at various times throughout the course of my life. Our goal is to be able to share our stories, allow our experts to shed light on relevant issues, and most importantly, discuss what people can do to begin to heal and overcome."

The webinars will be hosted via Zoom and are open to all community members - free of charge. Attendees of the webinars will also have the opportunity to participate in a more intimate group support session on the topic the following evening.

Let’s Talk about Trauma, Grief and Loss details:

Webinar #1 – Being Trauma Informed
Monday, Apr. 12, 2021 / 7 p.m. via Zoom
Register here

This 75-minute presentation discusses the forms and effects of trauma. Bob Wilkie will begin by sharing his personal experience of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos bus crash, as well as his involvement with the Humboldt Broncos tragedy in 2018. Former NHL goalie, Clint Malarchuk will continue the conversation by sharing his own personal story of the trauma he has experienced throughout his life. This is an informative event that provides insights and action steps to resolving trauma, and aims to create a deeper understanding of trauma and its effects as an individualized experience.

Being Trauma Informed Support Session
Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2021 / 7 p.m. via Zoom
Register here

The team of clinical psychologists and mental health clinicians at IGM will host a group session for anyone who wishes to learn more about how to heal and overcome their own personal trauma they’ve experienced.

Webinar #2 – Grief & Loss
Monday, Apr. 19, 2021 / 7 p.m. via Zoom
Register here

This 75-minute event will outline the grieving process we experience when we lose someone or something meaningful in our life. Medicine Hat Tigers head coach, Willie Desjardins will speak to his personal experiences, and amateur scout for the Calgary Flames, Darren Kruger will share his story about the loss of his brother in the Swift Current Broncos bus crash. This event will support those who have experienced any type of loss, and the experts at IGM will help attendees understand the grieving process and how they can get back on track.

Grief & Loss Support Session
Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2021 / 7 p.m. via Zoom
Register here

The IGM team will host a group session for anyone who wishes to learn more about how to begin to take steps towards creating a new way of life.

Registration is required for all events. Links to register can be found at

Information about other ongoing initiatives presented by the Brandon Niwa Legacy Fund – The Beej Project can be found at