According to 4-time Olympian and mental health advocate Clara Hughes, “[mental health] resources need to be more readily available and clearly laid out as to what they are, where they are and how to access them.” To address this gap, the Mental Health Strategy for High Performance Sport in Canada aims to equip sport participants, leaders and stakeholders with the mental health knowledge, skills and support to thrive throughout their career and beyond.
Concussion diagnosis largely relies on subjective experiences. But new research is being conducted to measure physiological effects of concussion through biomarkers in athletes’ saliva. This approach could change the way concussions are diagnosed and help monitor athletes’ brain health post-concussion.
Research shows that active transportation, such as walking, wheeling or cycling to get to and from places, is associated with improved physical and mental health. But only 7% of adults living in Canada use active travel. Time spent outdoors interacting with nature and green spaces can improve our mental well-being and decrease our environmental footprint. This helps us feel empowered every time we choose to walk, ride or wheel!
After injury, athletes can experience a range of negative emotions and coping strategies (e.g., anxiety, worry, ruminating or dwelling, avoidance). Self-compassion can enable athletes to focus on healthier, more proactive ways of moving forward with recovery, and may even reduce injury occurrence by decreasing athletes’ physiological activation to stress and facilitating their ability to focus on relevant cues when on the field, court, or ice.