Among other teams, Russ Courtnall played NHL and Olympic hockey for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Vancouver Canucks from 1982 to 1999. Fans loved his fast skating and stickhandling, and he completed his NHL career with an impressive 297 goals, 447 assists, and 744 points.

What you might not know, however, is that Russ’s father, Archie, died by suicide in 1978 when Russ and his brothers, Geoff and Bruce, were very young. Unfortunately, Archie struggled with depression during a time when no one talked publicly about mental illness and there was little social support for mental health issues. The loss of their father was devasting for the family, and especially Russ and his brothers.

Years later, in 2003 and 2004, the Courtnall brothers saw an opportunity to create change. They organized two golf tournaments which together raised $2-million (and growing) to build the Archie Courtnall Centre in Victoria, Canada. The centre now provides specialized mental health and addiction services including intensive assessment and crisis intervention to more than 3 000 patients with psychiatric disorders.

Fortunately, times have changed. There are now many more social services in Canada for people who need mental health care, as well as initiatives especially designed for the workplace like Headway for Healthy Minds at Work. Conversations are taking place publicly, on TV and radio, on social media, in schools, homes, and in workplaces. We are slowly erasing the stigma and giving mental health the same deserved priority as physical health.

Russ Courtnall MacKay CEO Forums session imageWe are honoured that Russ will be joining the MacKay CEO Forums EDGE Experience to share his life experiences with mental health.

We invite you to register for Russ Courtnall’s session on Thursday June 25, at 7-8am PDT / 10-11am EDT, as part of the MacKay CEO Forums free virtual conference, “Inspiring Virtual Leadership EDGE Experience” for a discussion of “Why Mental Health Matters.” Register for the session by clicking here.

The week-long conference includes many other sessions from June 22 to 26, 2020, all designed to help CEOs and executive leaders become better virtual leaders, and you are invited to register for individual sessions or whole days. Please review the complete agenda with registration information here.


Neil Osborne MacKay CEO ForumsMacKay CEO Forums is a Beneficial Corporation, and is committed to raising money for the 2020 Virtual Ride to Conquer Cancer, and MusiCounts with a special guest appearance from Juno Award winning Neil Osborne of 54-40. Click here to join Neil Osborne for a session of stories and live music.



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