Hats off to the Ontario Hockey League who will be introducing a new mental health program which will include suicide prevention knowledge. While final details have yet to be released, this is a big step forward. When we think about the impactful and influential role coaches can play, this is a win on many levels. Not just for increasing knowledge but for the leadership role this program is demonstrating. While we have done a good job at ensuring coaches have physical training (First Aid, CPR) there are currently no requirements for any type of emotional training. Isn’t it about time we also ensure our leaders are trained in our emotional health and not just our physical health? We know these two entities are intertwined and deserve equal attention.
Are you a coach? Do you know a coach? Encourage them to consider mental health training such as Mental Health First Aid and suicide prevention training such as Safe Talk or ASIST. Increasing the number of people that can recognize warning signs and be comfortable asking about suicide, the more lives we can save.
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