D.I.F.D. night raises $75, 000 to fight youth mental illness
Saturday night's Sens game at Scotiabank Place was more than just a hockey match; it was an opportunity to raise awareness of youth mental illness.
The event, called "Do it for Daron Youth Mental Health Awareness Night," was inspired by the death of Daron Richardson, daughter of Sens assistant coach Luke Richardson. Fourteen-year-old Daron took her own life in November.
D.I.F.D night raised $75,000. The money will be donated to local mental health services.
The Richardson family, Daron's friends, and several local celebrities were on hand to help fundraise Saturday night.
The NHL Players' Association promised to match all funds raised at the event up to $15, 000.
In a further show of support, the Sens and Flyers wore D.I.F.D. decals on the backs of their helmets during the game. The Sens coaching staff wore purple ties—Daron's favourite colour.
Experts say raising awareness of youth mental illness and suicide is crucial to helping those suffering.
"For youth, it's the second leading cause of death after car accidents," said Nicole Loreto of the Royal Ottawa Hospital. "It's significant. It's serious."
If you need help or know someone who does, the following services are available:
• Kids' Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
• Youth Services Bureau's 24/7 Crisis Line (Ottawa and eastern Ontario): 1-877-377-7775 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Ottawa Crisis Line: 1-866-996-0991
• Quebec Crisis Centre: 1-866-277-3553