Today’s ever changing society presents new challenges with social media and putting high profile athletes under the microscope. This increased media fixation and commercialization of ‘success’ have led to increased levels of emotional stress. We must purposefully discuss and support those in sport to deal and cope with challenges such as:

Bullying: is a form of aggressive behaviour in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions. The bullied individual typically has trouble defending him or herself and does nothing to “cause” the bullying.

Cyber bullying: the use of Information Technology to harm or harass other people in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.

Harassment: covers a wide range of behaviours of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behaviour intended to disturb or upset, and it is characteristically repetitive. In the legal sense, it is intentional behaviour which is found threatening or disturbing.

Mobbing: the bullying of an individual by a group in any context, such as a family, school, workplace, neighborhood, or community.

Discrimination: is the prejudicial and/or derogatory treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category. It involves restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision-making.

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Types of Mental Health Problems

Disorder Disclaimer

The following are mental health problems (as defined by Reardon and Factor, 2010; Gardner and Moore, 2006; Mental Health Commission of Canada – Mental Health First Aid Canada, 2011).

Supporting ‘red flag’ examples are also provided to initiate the awareness and early detection of mental health problems. Please note this is not an exhaustive list, but a breakdown of some common mental health problems and the corresponding physical and psychological symptoms to look out for.