Providing Mental Health Care to an Elite Athlete: The Perspective of the Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport Team

in Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
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There are few specialized mental health clinics to address the unique needs of high-performance athletes struggling with mental illness. The Canadian Centre for Mental Health in Sport (CCMHS) was recently created to fill this gap. It is the first center in Canada to offer collaborative sport-focused mental health care services designed to help athletes and coaches achieve their performance goals while prioritizing their mental health. This case study examines the process of providing mental health care to a female elite athlete through the CCMHS, including the referral, screening, and treatment process, as well as the outcomes of this care. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focused on exposure-response prevention was predominantly used to help the athlete improve and manage anxiety and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Both opportunities and challenges associated with providing collaborative care to the athlete via a telehealth platform were observed.

Van Slingerland, Durand-Bush, and DesClouds are with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Kenttä is with the Swedish Sport Confederation and the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.

Van Slingerland (krista.vanslingerland@uottawa.ca) is corresponding author.
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