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Sault College athletes get mental health assist

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Sault College athletes get mental health assist

Sault College Athletes

Being a student athlete is “not easy” for Arvid Grewal. He balances school demands in addition to working night shifts several days a week and playing basketball at Sault College. “I’m not complaining, but it’s tough,” he said.

The second-year fitness and health promotion student helped officially launch Talk Today, a mental health program for athletes, at Sault College on Wednesday. It’s the first post-secondary institution in Canada to offer the Canadian Mental Health Association program that began with Ontario Hockey League in 2014. About 130 students are involved.

“Talk Today was developed with the idea that young athletes in any sport are under many pressures to succeed and can be susceptible to mental health problems, mental illness and thoughts of suicide like anyone else,” said mental health coach Lisa Carricato during the morning announcement at The Common Link. “We need to start talking about mental health the way we do our physical health.”

Students learn how to discuss the issue “open and directly” and refer a person to community supports, said Carricato.

“Pretty much every student needs support at some point during their post-secondary experience,” said director of student services Matt Trainor. “We want to prepare our students.”

Grewal is pleased to see training to help students identify peers who may be at risk of suicide. He calls Talk Today’s start “a very, very big step.”

“I want everyone to be as good as they can be,” he said. “Not just me, but everyone near me. Even if you’re a stranger, I just want you to just be happy.”

Read the full story in the Sault Star.

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