The objectives of the USC-MHS ACT! Training are much like those of a first aid course. We will teach coaches the signs and symptoms of a mental health challenge and/or crisis, how to de-escalate a situation to avoid harm to oneself or others, and what pathways are available for additional professional support. The course also focuses on those factors about hockey participation that can protect individuals from experiencing mental health challenges and those factors that can put them at greater risk. Our training always includes national and local community resources that can be utilized for additional mental health support.
The course agenda is based on the acronym ACT!, encouraging anyone who is concerned about their own mental health or that of someone else to act in support. First, we will grow AWARENESS of the importance of mental health in hockey along with the prevalence of challenges, next we will provide information on signs and symptoms to be aware of regarding the most common mental health CHALLENGES experienced by hockey community members (depression, anxiety, and suicidality), and finally, options will be provided on how to TAKE ACTION if you are concerned about yourself or someone else, including your athletes while coaching hockey.