Buddy Check for Jesse Society is a Victoria, BC based grassroots Canadian charity established in 2018 that helps coaches bring mental health awareness to their players.

We have a large and established footprint in Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island, with an expanding presence across Canada. The charity was created to honor Jesse Short-Gershman who died by suicide on October 29, 2014 at the age of 22.

Support mental health by participating in ‘Buddy Check for Jesse’, a program created in memory of Jesse Short-Gershman. Buddy Check for Jesse was developed for Coaches to deliver to their teams. It began with Jesse’s dad, Dr. Stu Gershman, wanting to help his other two boys feel supported and to make their teammates know how important mental health is.

Stu believes that Coaches are in a unique position to share a message to help raise awareness about mental health issues in their youth participants. Coaches are respected by their players and the players can benefit knowing that their coaches care about them. The idea is to create an environment where teammates support one another and are more aware of potential mental health issues so they are prepared to step in with support when they see a teammate, friend or family member struggling.

Stu’s goal is to destigmatize mental health challenges and to empower and encourage youth and young adults to support one another. He believes that it is our youth that can help change the future and promote kindness, compassion, and tolerance in our communities. Hopefully this will allow more individuals to come forward and receive the help that exists. Only then will our poor statistics and stigmatization of mental health challenges/illnesses be impacted in a meaningful way. 

Teams, and associations can use the color green (the color for mental health) in many inventive and impactful ways to demonstrate their awareness, camaraderie,  and support of our message. Green hockey tape has been a mainstay of this message consistent with the program roots beginning with ice hockey.

Buddy Check for Jesse provides resources (cards, posters, coaches chat ideas) to help Coaches share this important message with their teams. 

Jesse’s family hopes that through creating this program in his honour, it will lead to a healthier, more tolerant and compassionate outlook for our youth as they move forward in our communities.

Leadership Victoria 2022 Award Winner Stu Gershman. View the full story »

Carson’s Story

Carson talks the talk and walks the walk when it comes to advocating for himself and others with respect to mental health. It is youth like Carson who will truly make a difference in this world as we try to end the stigma around mental health.


Buddy Check and DNV Fire Fighters PartnershipBuddy Check for Jesse (BCFJ) is proud and privileged to announce our new partnership with the District of North Vancouver Fire Fighters Charitable Society.

In their words: The DNV Fire Fighters Charitable Society “fundraise, provide manpower, play rugby, drive buses, build houses, golf, collect food items, play basketball, hang Christmas lights, play soccer, purchase equipment, curl, participate in camps, cook, pick up kids, play hockey, wash cars, B.B.Q., shake the boot, march, swim, cycle, run, walk, and crawl all in an effort to help out our community.”

We can now add another item…they highly value youth mental health and agree that the BCFJ approach can make a difference!

This is the start of an important partnership and we are looking forward to the growth of our relationship. Follow their IG account at @dnvfirecharity.

Please support the DNV charity in your community (dnvfirecharity.ca).

For more information on becoming a partner with Buddy Check for Jesse and supporting the mental health of youth in your community please contact us for more information.

#BuddyCheckforJesse  #DNVFireCharity  #NewPartnership  #MentalHealthMatters  #GreenforMentalHealth


Apparel or Other Gear for yourself, as a gift, or for your team!
All proceeds go directly to Buddy Check for Jesse as a donation.