The Mental Health Podcast and CASEMCON2019

I hope readers of this blog, and listeners of the podcast, have been following #CASEMCON2019 on their social media feeds this week. The Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) has been conducting its annual meeting in Vancouver these past several days, and is scheduled to wrap up today, May 18.  I have learned so much from following this #, as well as following the feeds of CJSM Twitter friends including Drs. Jane Thornton  Margo Mountjoy and Laura Cruz.

The topic of mental health in sport has figured prominently in the CASEM proceedings:  for instance, Clint Malarchuk, a retired NHL player, is scheduled to talk today about the stigma of mental health in sport.

And so one of our more recent publications and our most recent podcast could not be timelier (published in our May 2019 journal): The Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport (CCMHS) Position Statement: Principles of Mental Health in Competitive and High-Performance Sport

Krista Van Slingerland, of CCMHS and the University of Ottawa

The CCMHS is a relatively new organization and, along with a similar group in Sweden, represents one of the first such initiatives on the planet.  The co-founder of CCMHS, Ms. Krista Van Slingerland of the University of Ottawa, is the lead author of the position statement. She graciously met me on Skype (she, in Ottawa, and I in Columbus) to conduct a podcast exploring the issue of mental health in sport and the work CCMHS is doing to bring further attention to this issue and begin treating individual athletes for the problems they are facing.

CJSM is committed to providing a platform for this important issue, one which has been relatively neglected for too long in our world of sport and exercise medicine.  In my training — and I would suspect in yours, too — the focus was primarily on musculoskeletal medicine,  Medical issues such as managing diabetes or exercise-induced asthma, screening for cardiac disease, etc. would demand our attention at times.  The issue of concussion and its sequelae have of course become central to our athletes’ lives and our practice.  But identifying and helping our athletes cope with anxiety, depression, suicidality — I received little to no training in sports medicine about this, and have heretofore relied on my training in family medicine to help.

The new position statement as well as the CJSM CME Module we have created will help clinicians, including myself, learn more about the importance of mental health in the athletes we serve, and will help us be better able to identify and address the issues uncovered.  High profile and tragic stories like that of the life and death by suicide of Olympic cyclist Kelly Catlin underscore the vital importance of improving our care.

Besides the timeliness of #CASEMCON2019 wrapping up today in Vancouver with Clint Malarchuk’s talk, there is a bit of additional serendipity to the publication date for the CCMHS statement and this podcast, as well, for May is #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth!

And so…..your action items for this weekend

  1. Follow #CASEMCON2019 on your social media feeds
  2. Listen to the podcast, which can be found on our journal web page and on our iTunes feed
  3. Read the position statement — one of the Editor’s picks for this month
  4. Check out the CME module CJSM has produced on the topic of mental health in sport



Holly Benjamin, MD, FACSM CJSM Associate Editor for CME


I have special news to share with you today.

CJSM is offering CME for the first time.  We’re 25 years old and proving that you can teach an old dog (in journal years) new tricks.

The official announcement reads:

“As the official journal of AMSSM, CJSM’s Editor in Chief Christopher Hughes, MBBS, MSc is pleased to announce CME as a new component of the journal. In addition to having free access to all CJSM publications, members will now begin to see CME modules on line that are tied to key publications. The inaugural CME module is FREE and focuses on Exercise Associated Hyponatremia (EAH). This review article appeared in the July issue. For those that have read the article or who find this topic of interest, please complete the 10 question CME module designed to enhance the learning and understanding of the topic as well as earn one Category One CME credit that will be issued after the test is graded with a passing grade. As the CJSM CME section develops, more learning opportunities will be available. The CJSM CME learning module may be accessed here.  We would like to hear your feedback on the module. Please send your feedback to the CJSM Associate Editor for CME, Holly Benjamin:”

Some of this blog’s readers may remember the announcement made when Dr. Benjamin was named an Associate Editor.  She has been busily working on the format and other details of this ongoing offering, with a special focus on getting the first module up and running. For this initial offering, she has picked a great topic with EAH.  The Statement of the 3rd International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference was one of CJSM’s most popular offerings in 2015.  Our podcast with the lead author, Tamara Hew-Butler DPM, PhD was, likewise, enormously popular.  And the hashtags #Drink2Thirst & #DrinkToThirst were trending this summer on social media, reminders that the value of hydration has limits, and that EAH is an underappreciated danger of overhydration.

CJSM & EAH were even breaking news in Vietnam (let me know if you can read this article)!

2016 is still young, but already our second issue of the year is about to be published and we have this new CME offering.  It’s promising to be a very good year.

P.S. Sept 2016 addendum:  check out ALL our CME offerings here

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