Bruce and Geoff Courtnall. (Greg Sakaki photo)

PODCAST: Courtnall Society funds charities that help mental health issues

TODAY IN B.C.: Brothers Geoff, Bruce and Russ lost father Archie to depression

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Through celebrity fundraisers in the early 2000s, Victoria’s Courtnall brothers were able to help fund the Archie Courtnall Centre, which helps provide specialized mental health and addiction services for patients arriving in emergency at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Bruce Courtnall tells host Peter McCully, help from the society will be ongoing.

“We thought, ‘let’s take it a step further’, not just have events not just be event driven, but create a society that can carry on and raise money every year,” he said. “Find charities that need the funding and then make sure that the money that we raise goes to what it’s supposed to be going to and really keep track of it.”

Former NHL star Geoff Courtnall explained that there was a huge need for the centre named after his father.

“I know before we built the Archie Courtnall Centre, the problem was people would come and check in and say they were suicidal and then nobody would be able to treat them for hours,” he said. “So they would leave and either get better slowly or not get better at all.”

Bruce and Geoff Courtnall talk about their hockey careers on this edition of ‘Today in B.C.’, as well as a hockey program supported by the Courtnall Society, ‘Buddy Check for Jesse’.

“The Buddy Check for Jesse program, after he unfortunately committed suicide, was started by his dad and some of the teammates on his team,” said Geoff Courtnall. “They started up a program to check on other kids on different sports teams. So it’s not only great for hockey, but all sports, and I think it’s very important in our society.”

If you have suggestions or comments, send a voice message to podcast@blackpress.ca you may be part of our audio podcast mailbag segment.

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