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The Canadian Press

The Coaching Association of Canada announced a new mental-health and sport project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada on Tuesday.

The National Mental Health and Sport project will be launching in February, 2023. CAC hopes to increase mental-health literacy among coaches at all levels of sport and in all provinces and territories.

“This project is an important opportunity for the CAC to raise awareness and literacy on mental health within the sport community,” said Lorraine Lafrenière, CEO of the Coaching Association of Canada.

“With this national initiative, we are reaching out to communities across Canada including those who live in remote areas, Indigenous peoples, those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, newcomers to Canada, and the Armed Forces.”

The project will have three key objectives.

First, the project will update some existing training modules to improve accessibility 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, that will offer a compilation of training modules, videos, information, and resources provided by organizations with expertise in mental health literacy and education.

Third, the program will strategically promote the educational content and national resource hub to new and diverse audiences across Canada.

“Coaches play a fundamental leadership role in their communities, and are an important source of mental-health support for many athletes,” said Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“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.”

Although the program will benefit all coaches who participate, the project will put an emphasis on supporting coaches and community sport leaders in the communities identified as the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental health has been identified by federal, provincial, and territorial governments as the greatest risk to people in Canada as a result of COVID-19.