Rick Rypien was well known for being tenacious and giving. He loved children and held hockey development camps in his hometown, providing positive opportunities to kids in his community. He often spoke of his desire to see accessible mental health education and supports for kids, as he believed he himself would have benefitted from such a program. Rick experienced difficult mental health challenges throughout much of his life until his passing in 2011.
Project 11 is inspired by Rick’s idea to support mental health awareness for students from an early age and aims to help them develop the understanding that they can positively influence their own mental wellness by learning skills and adopting healthy coping strategies into their lives.
With dedicated support from the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose, the True North Youth Foundation began developing Project 11 in 2012. The first phase focused on the development of a middle years program (grades 5-8 in English) and was followed by the development of the early years program (grades K-4 in both English and French). Currently, programming is available from kindergarten to Grade 8 in both English and French and expansion continues with the development of our high school curriculum.
Project 11 continues to evolve and grow as it provides classroom-ready programming at no cost to Manitoba teachers. In partnership with teachers, Project 11 is delivered in the classroom and now connects thousands of kids in Manitoba and beyond with a positive mental health curriculum.
TSN created a short film explaining the important connection between Rick Rypien and the Jets, and how he inspired Project 11.
Please note that this video is intended for a more mature audience.