About The Huddle

This blog is dedicated to sharing the voices of student-athletes and igniting the conversation around mental health and illness in Canadian varsity sport. You will also find valuable expert pieces in the Wheelhouse, coach-specific articles, and contributions from family members and friends. We hope you find what you are looking for, and if not, send us an email and we will do our best to broaden the discussion!

Liam’s Story: Through the Gates of Hell

Liam Cavanagh is the Director of Hockey Operations for University of Massachusetts Boston Men’s Hockey and a former student-athlete. This is the first time he has shared his story publicly. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Imagine having thoughts running through your head. Thoughts that could turn into irreversible decisions. If I wasn’t here, would it be easier? I wouldn’t […]

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CJ’s Story: Peter Parker to Spiderman

Chawki-Jason Huard Berro is a graduate student at the University of Ottawa, and has represented Canada in the sport of Taekwondo since 2014, on both the collegiate national team and senior national team. He is also a member of the uOttawa SAMHI Campus Team. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Growing up I learned to admire fictional superheroes from […]

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Scarlett’s Story: “It’s okay to be sad”

Scarlett Smith is fourth year Nursing student and varsity soccer player at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is also a SAMHI Campus Team lead and doing amazing work in her community! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

I believe being an athlete is one of the greatest gifts life can offer to us. It shapes us as human […]

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Theresa’s story: Athlete, artist, therapist

Theresa Hart Black, M.A. attained a Masters of Art in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA while serving as the assistant coach for NDNU Women’s Volleyball program from 2012-2015.  Her thesis focused on “Student-athletes utilizing art therapy as a way to process athletic identity and reduce anxiety as they transitioned […]

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Athletic Identity: Understanding the Perspective of Student-Athletes

This article was written by Christopher Smith, M.A. He is a doctoral candidate at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He is currently working on his dissertation, which focuses on motivational factors for student-athletes utilizing university counseling services. He has three years experience working with both student-athletes and university students with mental health concerns and is completing his doctoral internship at Iowa State University. 


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Conversation starter: whose responsibility is student-athlete mental health?

In 2013, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brian Hainline declared mental health as the number one health and safety concern in the NCAA. Mary Wilfert, Associate Director of the NCAA Sport Science Institute, however, stated that, “Intervention cannot come out of the national office…we are not a medical organization.” Ironically, the NCAA holds mandatory medical screenings and training for all athletes […]

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Charitable Registration Number: 823066774RR0001

The Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative is a charitable organization dedicated to promoting wellness and mental health, and supporting student-athletes who may suffer from a mental health problem or illness.

This is not a site for personal disclosure of suicidal thoughts or behaviours. If you are in crisis, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department for assistance.

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