VALUE OF INTEGRATED CARE

The CCMHS offers integrated mental health care, which means that the CCMHS interdisciplinary team of practitioners seamlessly works together to assess athletes'/coaches' needs and to establish the most effective and efficient care plans that take into consideration sport-specific factors.

CCMHS mental health care is distinct from the general mental health care available through Canada’s public and private health care systems.

 

The CCMHS prides itself on its 4Cs of value-added services: sport-Centered, Comprehensive, Collaborative, and Convenient.
— CCMHS
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sport-Centered

Traditional Public and Private Mental Health Care

  • Practitioners do not tailor therapeutic approaches based on sport-specific factors

  • Practitioners do not have sport science training

  • Practitioners’ lack of knowledge and competencies in sport can lead to misdiagnosis and debilitative labeling and recommendations (e.g., your sport is too stressful, therefore you should quit; you have odd eating patterns and restrictions, therefore you have an eating disorder)

CCMHS Mental Health Care

  • Practitioners tailor therapeutic approaches based on sport-specific factors (e.g., performance demands, competitive pressure, sport specialization, year-round training/coaching, coaching style, funding, injuries, transitions in and out of sport, peak and recovery periods, diet restrictions, team members, sport culture, traveling schedule, anti-doping regulations)

  • Practitioners have sport science training, understand the intricacies of the competitive sport environment, and have extensive experience working with competitive and high-performance athletes and coaches

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Collaborative

Traditional Public and Private Mental Health Care

  • There is no integration or continuity of care because practitioners typically work in silos and do not interact to determine optimal or best treatment plans

  • Practitioners’ different therapeutic approaches and recommendations can be contradictory and negatively impact sport performance (e.g., psychiatrist recommends a break from sport until medication is stabilized while psychotherapist suggests only reducing number of hours of training per week so that athlete can still compete in one month)

CCMHS Mental Health Care

  • Practitioners work as an integrated unit and collaborate on a regular basis to determine and adjust care plans

  • Practitioners represent core mental health and mental performance regulated professions in Canada (e.g., mental performance consultants, counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists)

  • Practitioners work with athletes’/coaches’ extended support team, as permitted, to optimize care as well and transitions in and out of the CCMHS (e.g., discuss care plan with existing team physician for additional support while away at a competition)

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Comprehensive

Traditional Public and Private Mental Health Care

  • Practitioners put in place general treatment plans that do not meticulously address the complex roles, identities, and demands that athletes and coaches must manage within their sport system and culture

CCMHS Mental Health Care

  • Practitioners put in place specific care plans that take into account the complex roles, identities, and demands that athletes/coaches must manage within their sport system and culture throughout a competitive season (e.g., plan respects training and competition standards, goals, and schedules, and addresses coach/teammates/family/support staff demands)

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Convenient

Traditional Public and Private Mental Health Care

  • Access to mental health care is limited, with wait times of over one year in Canada

  • Hospital emergency departments are overloaded and prioritize acutely suicidal patients

  • Practitioners’ therapeutic approaches and schedules are restrictive (e.g., psychologists only see patients on weekdays from 9am to 5pm in private office)

CCMHS Mental Health Care

  • Mental health care is provided in a timely, efficient, and reliable manner (e.g., practitioners follow a systematic and speedy process to assess eligibility criteria and needs)

  • Practitioners are flexible and accommodating to best meet the needs and preferences of athletes/coaches (e.g., offer extended hours of services throughout the week and weekend, with on-call practitioners for emergencies)

  • Practitioners provide both in-person and telehealth services to accommodate athletes’/coaches’ various sport contexts as well as schedule and travel constraints (e.g., can attend practices and travel with athletes to competitions or work remotely as needed)

I can tell you I’ve probably had at least half a dozen depression spells that I’ve gone through. And the one in 2014, I didn’t want to be alive
— Michael Phelps | Most decorated Olympian of all time | As quoted by Champions Unplugged