Mental Health: A Resource for Canadian Coaches
Canadian sports coaches now have a resource to help them better support their athletes with mental health issues.
On Monday, the Coaching Association of Canada launched a “Mental Health and Sport Resource Portal” with the goal of promoting improved mental health literacy nationwide.
In concrete terms, maple leaf coaches have access to extensive content on this subject and online training modules.
Snowboarder and three-time Olympic medalist Maxence Parrot did not hesitate once second when he was approached to promote this new initiative.
“Through three Olympics, several failures, gold medals and cancer, I had to overcome several challenges and I am aware of the importance of having good mental health,” Parrot said.
The 28-year-old athlete said he was lucky to be able to count on people like Jean-François Ménard, a high performance mental preparation advisor.
“That's what made a big difference through my performances and my personal life. I was super lucky to have coaches, including J-F, who knew how to support me.”
“Now every athlete in the country will have this opportunity! There are options for a coach who does not know what to do when one of his athletes suffers from a mental health problem and we can only be happy about that.”
Getting to the “next level”
Also present during the interview with Parrot, Ménard made it clear that this new resource will also be used by coaches to better manage their own mental health.
“We have been talking about raising awareness among athletes about mental health for years. I think we've done a great job there and we've seen the results. It was only natural to do the same with the coaches,” he said.
“They too are going through a lot of pressure and anxiety. […] It is not easy. They have a leadership and management role. Sometimes they may feel like they don't have the right to show some weakness and to be forced to have the answer to everything,” added the man who has accompanied athletes in particular during the last four Olympic Games. .
“If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others!”
Ménard is also convinced that supervising the coaches of this will allow the maple leaf to perform better in competition.
“By implementing this portal, Canada is ready to take it to the next level. I think it can give us a competitive advantage in the sporting world.”