Funding supports Coaches and Athletes to scale mental health literacy.
OTTAWA, ON, December 13, 2022 – The Coaching Association of Canada™ (CAC) today announced the launch of its National Mental Health and Sport project after receiving funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in an official announcement today by David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health.
The National Mental Health and Sport project will be launching in February 2023. As a part of the initiative, the project will have three key objectives. The first objective is to update some existing training modules to expand on the content provided on mental health in sport and to improve accessibility of these modules, both by increasing delivery to remote areas and by adapting them into seven additional languages: Arabic, Punjabi, Chinese, Tagalog, Cree, Inuktitut and Dene. The second objective is to create an online accessible national resource hub, which will offer a compilation of training modules, videos, information, and resources provided by organizations with expertise in mental health literacy and education. Lastly, the third objective is to strategically promote the educational content and national resource hub to new and diverse audiences across Canada. With this 360-degree project, the CAC aims to increase mental health literacy amongst coaches at all levels of sport and in all provinces and territories. While this will benefit all coaches who participate, this project lays special emphasis on supporting coaches and community sport leaders in the communities identified as the most impacted by the pandemic.
Mental health has been identified by federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) governments as the greatest risk to people in Canada as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on youth mental health and is particularly associated with depression and anxiety (Nearchou et al., 2020). Evidence has shown that between 40-48% of children and adolescents experienced mental health issues during the pandemic (Liang et al., 2020) (Wang et al., 2020).
The Honourable, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health, said, “Coaches play a fundamental leadership role in their communities, and are an important source of mental health support for many athletes. With its focus on increasing mental health literacy, this new program will significantly help coaches and sport leaders understand some of the challenges that people from equity-seeking groups, including youth, face when it comes to their mental health, while helping more people across Canada access the trauma-informed and culturally relevant supports they need.”
The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, said, “I am happy that our government continues to support underrepresented groups who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The mental health literacy of our coaches is paramount. Our athletes’ well-being depends on having training environments that are psychologically healthy and safe. This $2.8M funding to the Coaching Association of Canada will do just that, by reaching more than 2.5 million coaches across the country, which in turn will help millions of athletes from coast to coast to coast.”
David McGuinty, Member of Parliament, Ottawa South, said, “Supporting the mental health of athletes is key to creating a healthy environment and a love of sport and physical activity that can last a lifetime. The additional support the Coaching Associate of Canada can provide coaches and sport organizations will help foster this positive environment and support ongoing physical activity, while addressing health inequities and supporting young people from equity-seeking groups.”
Lorraine Lafrenière, Chief Executive Officer of the Coaching Association of Canada, said, “This project is an important opportunity for the CAC to raise awareness and literacy on mental health within the sport community. With this national initiative, we are reaching out to communities across Canada including those who live in remote areas, Indigenous peoples, those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, newcomers to Canada, and the armed forces. Harnessing the power of sport can unite individuals, groups, communities, and nations; with this project we endeavour to equip our coaches to better support themselves and their sport participants, to normalize conversations around mental health, and to have a significant impact on individual lives as well as the sport community in Canada.”
About the Coaching Association of Canada
The Coaching Association of Canada unites stakeholders and partners in its commitment to raising the skills and stature of coaches, and ultimately expanding their reach and influence. Through its programs, the CAC empowers coaches with knowledge and skills, promotes ethics, fosters positive attitudes, builds competence, and increases the credibility and recognition of coaches. For more information, please visit www.coach.ca, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
For more information, contact:
Arushi G Phillips
Manager, Communications and Public Relations - Special Project
Coaching Association of Canada