Psychological health and wellbeing in high performance sport is critical to the immediate and long-term success of athletes, coaches and staff within all our organizations (such as National and Provincial Sport Organizations, Canadian Sport Institutes and Centres, Olympic and Paralympic Committees and Own the Podium as well as professional sport organizations).

Mental health is foundational to athletes’ (or coach or staff) ability to perform to their full potential. Numerous factors play a role in an individual’s mental health, so it is important to learn skills that allow individuals to succeed in the high-performance sport environment.

Of equal importance, is the ability to identify when an athlete is experiencing signs and symptoms of mental illness. Mental Illness is a health condition characterized by alterations in individuals’ feeling, thinking, and behaving, leading to significant distress and impaired functioning in their personal and professional activities. It pertains to all diagnosable mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and substance use disorders (WHO, 2022).

It is therefore the responsibility of all involved in high performance sport to foster a psychologically healthy culture of autonomy, competence, and belongingness. In addition to developing and maintaining a safe, non-judgmental environment, the power of knowledge is key to the identification and reduction and even elimination of ‘hazards’ that may pose a risk to mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health

Mental Health Resources

Mental health conditions are characterized by significant disruptions in one’s cognition (thinking), emotional regulation, and/or behavior. To learn more, consider these resources.

For Athletes

Subsidized Mental Health Suppport*

Mental health supports available and access to mental health practitioners who know sport. All Sport Canada carded athletes and non-carded senior national team athletes are eligible for up to $2500/year of mental health support.

* Subsidization available to AAP carded athletes & non-carded national team athletes

Individial Mental Health Action Plan

A resource to help athletes and their entourage proactively respond when their mental health is declining.

Mental Health 101 Workshop

A 2-hour workshop that provides athletes with tangible tools and strategies to support your mental health.

For Coaches (of National Team Athletes)

Mental Health Suppport

Mental health supports available and access mental health practitioners who know sport (up to $2500 of support / year)

Needs / Gap Assessment Tool

A guide to assist coaches in assessing needs and gaps in the area of personal and team mental health.

Mental Health 101 Workshop

A 2-hour workshop that provides athletes with tangible tools and strategies to support your mental health.

For Staff and Organizations

Mental Health Suppport

Mental health supports available and access mental health practitioners who know sport (fee-for-service).

Needs / Gap Assessment Tool

A guide to assist sport leaders in assessing organizational needs and gaps in the area of mental health.