Government of Canada invests $2.8 million to increase mental health literacy among Coaches and Sports Leaders

News release

Funding supports the Coaching Association of Canada’s new project to support mental health and sport

December 13, 2022 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to promoting positive mental health for everyone, particularly those who face disproportionate challenges accessing mental health supports because of discrimination, socio-economic status or social exclusion.

Today, David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced $2.8 million in funding to support the Coaching Association of Canada’s new project, which aims to increase mental health literacy among coaches and community sport leaders who work with remote, Indigenous and economically disadvantaged communities, newcomers to Canada, and persons with disabilities.

The project will update and adapt existing mental health educational modules that will be delivered within these communities and create an online hub for mental health resources for coaches that will launch on February 16, 2023. The project is expected to reach up to 2,540,000 coaches across Canada.

Today’s announcement is part of a $100 million investment over three years, provided in Budget 2021, to support projects that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in populations disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including youth, seniors, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and Black and other racialized Canadians. 


“Coaches play a fundamental leadership role in their communities, and are an important source of mental health support for many athletes. 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.”

The Honourable, Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health

“I am happy that our government continues to support underrepresented groups who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The mental health literacy of our coaches is paramount. Our athletes’ well-being depends on having training environments that are psychologically healthy and safe. This $2.8M funding to the Coaching Association of Canada will do just that, by reaching more than 2.5 million coaches across the country, which in turn will help millions of athletes from coast to coast to coast.”

The Honourable Pascale St-Onge
Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

“Supporting the mental health of athletes is key to creating a healthy environment and a love of sport and physical activity that can last a lifetime. The additional support the Coaching Associate of Canada can provide coaches and sport organizations will help foster this positive environment and support ongoing physical activity, while addressing health inequities and supporting young people from equity-seeking groups.”

David McGuinty
Member of Parliament, Ottawa South

“This project is an important opportunity for the CAC to raise awareness and literacy on mental health within the sport community. Harnessing the power of sport can unite individuals, groups, communities, and nations; with this project we endeavour to equip our coaches to better support themselves and their sport participants, to normalize conversations around mental health, and to have a significant impact on individual lives as well as the sport community in Canada.”

Lorraine Lafrenière
Chief Executive Officer of the Coaching Association of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the mental health of people in Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

  • Mental health promotion and mental illness prevention are critical components for wellbeing and can help reduce demands on the health care system. Community-based projects focussed on mental health promotion have the potential to improve health outcomes over the life course.

  • The Wellness Together Canada portal provides free access to educational content, self-guided therapy, moderated peer-to-peer support, and one-to-one counselling with qualified health professionals. If you or a loved one is struggling, you can access the Wellness Together Canada portal, or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth).

  • The Hope for Wellness Helpline is available to all Indigenous people across Canada. Experienced and culturally competent counsellors are reachable by telephone and online “chat” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Both telephone and online chat services are available in English and French. Telephone support is also available upon request in Cree, Ojibway (Anishinaabemowin), and Inuktitut.

  • Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 with e-mental health service offering free, confidential support to young people in English and French.

Associated links


Guillaume Bertrand
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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