Courtnall brothers share personal story on Bell Let's Talk Day


The Courtnall name is well-known here on Vancouver Island.

The Courtnall brothers, two of them Geoff and Russ, both played in the NHL and joining them, their younger brother Bruce, visited CFAX Wednesday to speak about mental health issues on Bell, Let's Talk Day.

Their father, Archie took his own life when the boys were very young. Archie, a devoted father and hockey coach, suffered from depression at a time when people living with mental illness didn't talk about it.

Russ Courtnall talks about how devastating his father's illness and death was for the family.

"I remember going to hockey school that our Dad ran and I walked in the locker room and everyone just stopped and looked at me, and as a 13-year old, you can imagine the pain that you are suffering from losing your father."

Geoff and Russ went on to successful careers in the National Hockey League while Bruce pursued a business career.

The brothers organized a celebrity tournament to support mental services and told their story. Geoff Courtnall says it was a healing experience that has helped others.

"It was an amazing time for us to finally tell our story and to raise the funds we did with amazing people in Victoria, across the country and around the world to be quite honest."

The Courtnall Celebrity Classic has raised over $3 Million to support mental health service in the Victoria Community.

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