McLaren Bay Medical Foundation and the Saginaw Spirit Team up for 3rd Annual “Talk Today – Hope for Tomorrow”

Published on Friday, January 13, 2017

McLaren Bay Medical Foundation and the Saginaw Spirit Charitable Foundation will present “Talk Today – Hope for Tomorrow” at the Dow Event Center on the evening of Saturday, January 28, 2017. This third annual event is an effort to bring to light mental health issues and bring an end to the stigma that surrounds them. Professionals from area mental health agencies will be on hand when the doors open at 5:30pm to discuss referral sources that can provide immediate help for people who may need assistance. A short presentation will also precede the game beginning at 6pm.

Craig Goslin, Saginaw Spirit President, said “Removing the stigma that surrounds the subject of mental health is a very important effort. Our hope is that this event becomes part of the fabric of the community for many years. That through this very important partnership with McLaren Bay Medical Foundation and the Saginaw Spirit Charitable Foundation, we will work together to communicate, create awareness and educate people throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.” Goslin continued, “We want to be part of a solution so people can recognize a mental health concern in themselves, a family member or friend and learn where they can go for help, so they ‘Talk Today and have Hope for Tomorrow’.”

Eric Hipple, former Detroit Lions Quarterback will be the night’s featured speaker. From his career as an NFL quarterback to his son's suicide in 2000, Eric has experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. He uses these experiences to help others learn what it means to Live Life on the Offense - to live a proactive, mentally healthy lifestyle, through education, outreach, and defeating stigma.

The struggle with mental health issues became very personal to the Saginaw Spirit three seasons ago, with the tragic loss of Terry Trafford, a Saginaw Spirit hockey player. The family of Terry Trafford, the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), the entire Saginaw Spirit franchise, fans, and community were devastated. “We don’t want Terry’s death to go in vain and we also want those affected to continue the healing process after suicide,” Goslin said. “Since Terry’s death, several positive things have occurred, so Terry’s legacy lives on.”

Additionally, a social media campaign involving Facebook and Twitter has been initiated. The hashtag #Iwillstandbyyou was created as a social media element to increase awareness of the “Talk Today – Hope for Tomorrow” event. Photos were taken of various McLaren Bay Region and Saginaw Spirit employees and players, shown holding signs displaying the hashtag and a statement of personal support. The photos will be posted on the Foundation’s Facebook page and on Twitter through the Saginaw Spirit.

Participating agencies and organizations include:

  • Bay Arenac Behavioral Health Authority
  • Bay Arenac ISD
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Childrens Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region
  • Community Mental Health of Central Michigan
  • Dennis Wirgowski Football Camp for Kids
  • Department of Veteran's Affair
  • McLaren Bay Psychiatric Associates
  • McLaren Bay Region Behavioral Health
  • M.P.A. Group NFP, Ltd.
  • Neighborhood Resource Center
  • Peer 360 Recovery Alliance
  • Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center
  • Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority
  • Saginaw MAX System of Care
  • Sandra Murray & Associates
  • Survivors of Suicide/Yellow Ribbon
  • Tuscola Behavioral Health Systems<

“Our hope is that this partnership is so successful, that we share the McLaren Bay Medical Foundation/Saginaw Spirit Foundation Mental Health Awareness Game Night Event with other sports teams and communities throughout North America, so they can take the blueprint and duplicate it with their local hospitals and foundations, so they too can positively communicate, create awareness and educate mental health concerns,” Goslin said.

McLaren Bay Region and the Saginaw Spirit are sponsoring a phone bank the evening of January 25th from 5pm – 6:30pm on WNEM TV5. Mental Health Professionals will be on hand to take calls and will be prepared to directly refer callers to mental health agencies for any county in Michigan.