On Saturday, February 8, 2020, students from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law’s Common Law and Civil Law Sections competed in the third annual Ottawa Law Classic hockey game at the uOttawa Minto Sports Complex. The Ottawa Law Classic’s aim is to support Do it For Daron (DIFD), founded after the suicide of 14-year-old Daron Richardson. Her parents, with the support of her classmates and friends started the DIFD movement to support young people struggling with mental illness. DIFD supports education, awareness and research programs at The Royal, one of Canada’s leading mental health care, teaching and research hospitals, and aims to encourage youth to talk openly about mental health and to seek help when needed.
The annual Ottawa Law Classic hockey game is a response by aspiring legal professionals to the youth mental health epidemic, and aims to encourage discussions around mental health in order to raise awareness of mental health issues and challenge the stigma associated with youth mental health. All of the proceeds from the game go directly to DIFD. In the past two years, the Ottawa Law Classic has raised over $24 000 for DIFD.
Selena Saikaley, one of the organiser of the Ottawa Law Classic shared her reasons for getting involved with DIFD: “[Do It For Daron] is an organization that is very important to me and close to my heart, and I was excited to join an event that was promoting mental health awareness in the law school. The Ottawa Law Classic is a great way to break the stigma surrounding mental health and bring students from the law school community together!”
The event began with a ceremonial puck drop by the Common Law Section’s dean, Adam Dodek and Pierre Thibault, assistant dean of the Civil Law Section. After a hard fought game by all players, the Civil Law team managed to claim victory in an overtime shoot-out. The game was followed by a reception at the Draft Pub in the Minto Sports Complex. $13 000 were raised for DIFD, more than in any previous iteration of the Law Classic.
“This game would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors and volunteers, as well as the students of the Faculty of Law that continually pack the Minto Sports Centre on game-night year after year. Thank you to each and every person who has helped grow this event and maximize our contribution to incredible mental health initiatives like DIFD at the Royal Ottawa.” – Colby Georgsen, GM, Ottawa Law Classic
For information on the Faculty of Law’s Wellness Mentor in Residence, Orlando da Silva, and all of the Faculty of Law services, visit our Counselling and Wellness Page.
For more information on mental health resources available on campus, visit the University of Ottawa’s Health Services Page.
photo credit: Caroline Phillips