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Statement on Minister of Sport's Funding for Mental Health Announcement

TORONTO (December 12, 2022) – On Monday, the federal Minister of Sport, the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, announced an investment of  $2.4 million would be allocated towards support for the Canadian mental health strategy for high performance sport. 

This investment in the mental health strategy for high performance sport will enable organizations in the Canadian high-performance sport community to provide athletes, coaches, and other sport system stakeholders with more support for crisis care, education, and training.  

The Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network issued the following statements on Monday in support of the announcement:

"The COC applauds Minister St-Onge and the Government of Canada for this important investment in Canadian sport. Investments like this, which will address the urgent mental health needs of Canadian athletes, are a crucial step toward making sport  as safe and inclusive as possible. This has been an especially challenging time for Canadian athletes’ mental health and wellness. We’re pleased to see that a large portion of these funds will go directly to Game Plan - an athlete wellness program we created in 2014 with our sport partners and Deloitte - and further enhance the expertise and programs devoted to athlete mental health and wellness.”

– David Shoemaker, CEO, Canadian Olympic Committee

"We highlight the leadership of Minister St-Onge and the Government of Canada, who continue to champion safe and inclusive sport, including investing to improve and sustain mental health across the high performance system. The CPC is also pleased to work cooperatively with partners, the COC, OTP and COPSIN, to ensure optimum delivery and to enhance prevention. Today's important announcement by the Government of Canada supports the CPC's commitment to creating a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for athletes, guides, coaches and participants.”

– Karen O'Neill, CEO, Canadian Paralympic Committee

“This much needed financial investment will allow us to provide the necessary support for Own the Podium and its partners to build on the cultural and wellness work that has already begun in support of Canada’s national sport organizations to ensure a safe, fun and enjoyable experience that protects all participants in high performance environments. We want to thank Minister St-Onge and the Government of Canada for their continued care and commitment so that everyone in Canada’s sport system feels supported, safe and enjoys their personal journey in sport.”

– Anne Merklinger, CEO, Own the Podium

"Working with Olympic and Paralympic athletes across Canada on a daily basis, experts from the member institutes and centres of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSI Network) are on the front lines to see the urgent and growing need for services and initiatives that support athlete mental health and wellness. More than 10,000 athletes on Canada’s high-performance sports pathway through our Network will benefit from increased education and programming. The constituents of the COPSI Network are grateful for Minister St-Onge’s and the Government of Canada’s interest in athlete mental health and wellness and applaud this innovative investment that will make a difference in both day-to-day training and performance as well as in their post-career planning."

– Gaëtan Robitaille, Spokesperson, Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute  Network

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Media Contacts:

Thomas Hall, Director, Communications and Media Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 514-709-1054

Nicole Watts, Manager, Public Relations
Canadian Paralympic Committee
C: 613-462-2700

Chris Dornan, Advisor, Communications
Own the Podium
C: 403-620-8731

Jean Gosselin, Lead Communication
Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network
C: 514-757-9092

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