Welcome to the official blog of the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative. Like a huddle, this is the place where we put our heads and our hearts together in preparation for the challenges ahead. SAMHI is a not-for-profit organization that advocates and supports the mental wellbeing of student athletes. Find out how your contribution can make a difference in the health and performance of student-athletes across Canada.
Supporting the mental health of student-athletes to help them flourish in and out of competition, across all life domains.
As a champion for student-athlete mental health, SAMHI’s mission is to reduce mental illness stigma in sport, facilitate access to the resources needed to maintain and improve mental health, and advocate on behalf of student-athletes experiencing mental illness.
1. Adopt a student-athlete centered approach.
2. Reduce harmful mental illness stigma in sport through communication campaigns and media work.
3. Connect student-athletes to the tools and resources needed to support mental health.
4. Develop mental health training resources for coaches and support staff.
5. Work with governing and administrative bodies in Canadian sport to address policy and service gaps.
6. Collaborate with Canadian post-secondary institutions to establish SAMHI as a leading mental health resource for student athletes.
The voice of student-athletes with mental illness
Knowledge to action
About the Co-Founders
Samantha DeLenardo is a varsity women’s hockey alumna from the University of Ottawa, Canada, with a MA in Health Communication. Her thesis work focused primarily on exploring perceptions of mental health and illness in varsity football. Building on literature and primary findings, Ms. DeLenardo also designed the early stages of a mental health communication plan for male football players competing in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. This work would ultimately help to frame the strategic directions of the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative. Ms. DeLenardo currently works for the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres, a recognized leader and advocate for advancing the improvement of healthcare for Canada’s children and youth. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Krista Van Slingerland competed for Carleton University Women’s Basketball for three seasons (2010 – 2013), but her struggle with depression and anxiety profoundly changed the direction of her life. Her experiences led her to co-found the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI) with Samantha DeLenardo in September of 2013. Ms. Van Slingerland is currently in the first year of her MA in Human Kinetics, is playing for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, and now serves as a champion for student-athlete mental health. She is striving to ensure that other athletes like herself do not struggle in silence, as she did. Contact her at email@example.com