The Winnipeg Jets are taking part in a special initiative to encourage their fans to talk about mental health and wellness.

All seven Canadian NHL hockey clubs will be using the month of February to host Hockey Talks.

At the Jets home game on Feb. 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, there will be special in-arena messaging, and mental health guides will be available to fans.

Craig Heisinger, Senior Vice-President & Director, Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manager of the Jets, says the goal is to increase dialogue and awareness about mental health and the effects and treatments.

“It’s important for people to come forward and talk about this.  There is lots of help for mental health and wellness. We want to create an environment where people are comfortable coming out and talking about it in the open, especially the male demographic,” said Heisinger.

The Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation is also working on “Project 11” an educational plan for mental health awareness among young people in Manitoba.

It’s in honour of former Manitoba Moose player Rick Rypien.  The 27-year-old took his own life in August 2011 after battling mental illness for years.

Project 11 is set to be complete in the spring of 2014 and will be available for free on the Winnipeg Jets website.