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(April 24, 2017 – Regina)  A new campaign to promote healthy environments for children and youth launched in Saskatchewan today.

The #TalkItOut campaign encourages anyone involved in youth activities, including coaches, parents, participants and instructors, to call a toll-free line to receive guidance and support if they are experiencing issues with bullying, violence, abuse or hazing.

The 1-866-773-5777 line is monitored by experienced and trained Red Cross employees who will listen to concerns and provide counsel, or refer the callers to the proper authorities. The service is provided in partnership with Sask Sport, SaskCulture and Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.

“The campaign materials reflect the themes heard from parents, youth and instructors,” said Scott McHenry, Red Cross Associate for Sport, Culture and Recreation. “Many parents wonder why their kid is quiet in the car on the way home, and a lot of youth think that bullying or other issues are their fault.”

“Every young person in Saskatchewan should have access to recreation programs and spaces that are free of harassment, bullying, violence and abuse, which is why SPRA supports the #TalkItOut campaign and support line,” said Dawna Nielson, Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Assocation (SPRA) President. “By giving parents and recreation providers the resources they need, the support line ensures that children and youth in Saskatchewan have access to inclusive, safe and healthy play environments.“

“Sport can be a powerful tool for developing life skills such as teamwork, dedication and goal setting. The #TalkItOut campaign is a vital component for ensuring that participants have the opportunity for a positive experience, and have a place to go to for support and help. Sask Sport is committed to ensuring all participants in Saskatchewan have a positive community sport experience and the support-line #TalkItOut campaign will help ensure this happens,” said Tavia Laliberte, Chair, Sask Sport Inc.

Dean Kush, Associate Chief Executive Officer, SaskCulture, said, “Bullying and harassment are unacceptable. We encourage anyone experiencing or witnessing these behaviours to call the RespectEd line for confidential advice and help when needed. Together, we can help ensure all youth have positive experiences in sport, culture and recreation.”

#TalkItOut campaign posters, bookmarks and other material can be found at the http://bit.ly/talkitoutSK

For more information, please contact:

Saskatchewan Media Line – Canadian Red Cross
306-721-1636

@redcrosssk

#talkitout