Ten people kill themselves each day in Canada.

The Government of Canada says of those 10 people, more than 90 per cent of them had a mental illness.

Jordin Tootoo’s brother was one of those people.

Tootoo played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 15 years. He was Canada’s first Inuk professional hockey player.

Tootoo grew up in the remote town of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut and said in a speech on Wednesday at Red River College (RRC) that hockey was his and his brother’s way out.

“The painful reality that we all share does not need to continue,” said Tootoo during his speech. “It can stop with us.”

Tootoo’s brother Terence battled mental illness for a lot of his life. Tootoo said after his brother got a DUI, Terence felt like a failure and killed himself while drunk.

Terence was only 22 when he died.

His brother’s suicide led Tootoo to a fight with addiction and his own mental health problems. Tootoo is now an advocate for mental wellness.
Zelda has been with Kate Fitz-Maurice for almost two years. Fitz-Maurice says her emotional support dog saved her.
Kate Fitz-Maurice has anxiety.

Her doctor prescribed her an emotional support dog, which led Fitz-Maurice to Zelda. She said it was love at first sight.

Zelda helps Fitz-Maurice by not leaving her side during a panic attack. She also aids her owner by putting pressure on her and licking her face during an episode.

Playing with a dog can raise dopamine levels, according to Help Guide, which calms and relaxes people.

Dogs are just one tool for changing the way the brain works.

Megan Kulyk uses the Himalayan Singing Bowl to relax.

The bowl changes brain waves based on the vibrations it makes, putting the user in what Kulyk describes as a “trance.”

“It actually has the ability to, for lack of a better word, snap you out of it,” said Kulyk.

Jordin Tootoo's brother killed himself 18 years ago. Tootoo is now a mental wellness advocate. Learn more from Kellen Taniguchi.
Kate Fitz-Maurice has an emotional support dog to help with her anxiety. Megan Kulyk uses a Himalayan Singing Bowl. Learn more from Becca Myskiw.