Expanding the Reach for Mental Wellness for Better Performance in Sport & Life


It’s much more than just the specific sport; it’s about reinforcing positive attitude and lessons for life.

What is Suicide?

Suicide is the act of ending one’s life. People can get thoughts about committing suicide for many reasons, such as when a person is under so many stresses that they become overwhelmed and cannot cope.

Typical stresses may include:

  • Home stress, such as conflict/disagreements with mother, father, siblings…
  • School stress such as problems with friends, schoolwork, teachers, bullies…
  • Work stress such as problems with co-workers, bosses, workload…
  • Other problems such as depression, anxiety, substance use

People can feel suicidal when they feel 1) disconnected from other people, 2) helpless to deal with their stress, and/or 3) hopeless that their stress will improve.

Prevention & Long-Term Care:

A few ways to help a young person who is feeling suicidal in a long term manner is to help 1) them feel connected again, and/or 2) overcome helplessness by giving them a sense of control, and/or 3) give them a sense of hope.

What to do if your athlete has expressed either directly or indirectly that they are thinking about suicide?

Follow the SafeTalk “TALK” steps:

  1. Tell / Recognize the invitations
  2. Ask – directly the question “Have you thought of suicide?”
  3. Listen – to their concerns/ fears/ story
  4. Keep Safe – create a plan to keep your child safe

Keeping your athlete safe, involves creating a safety net around that child and in collaboration with them. It is important to understand the following:

  • Assessing Risk (Immediate 9-11; Emergency Department/ Hospital or Clinic service?). Always take suicide indicators seriously.
  • Whether the athlete has a plan / what is involved in the plan. Will they have access to the tools necessary to carry out the plan? How can you ensure that the child does not have access to these tools? (ie. living arrangments etc)
  • How long have these thoughts been going on for? Have they attempted before? Have they performed any other self harm acts?
  • Who the athletes circle of care is / safety network is — How can they keep the child safe? Let the child know that although you understand this is confidential, if they show harm to themselves or others, you are obliged to let their safety circle know.
  • Perhaps a written contract to ensure their safety (keeping them accountable)
  • Asking and collaborating with the child is key

See Signs & Strategies for Tips on What to Say, and how to Approach Suicidal Indications

For Suicide Awareness Training: