2019 Think Tank

Think Tank 2019

ISSP Think Tanks are non-political and non-profit events that consist of a mix of academia and practice, serve an overall purpose that is bigger than the interest of any one individual member, and often result in recommendations, a white paper, or a consensus statement, which may advise politicians, businesses or decision-makers.

October 17-18, 2019 ISSP and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee co-hosted the second ISSP Multi-Society Think Tank on Athlete Mental Health in an Olympic Perspective in Colorado Springs.

Representatives were invited from the major sport psychology associations of the world, providing applied and research perspectives, psychological and psychiatric competence, and cultural width. See the list of participants below.

(1) to recommend initiatives that benefit our members; (2) to take an active role in uniting sport psychology societies; and (3) to put key themes on the sport psychology world agenda.

The focus of the Think Tank was on Mental Health in an Olympic Games perspective. Discussions were divided into three key periods: before, during, and after Olympic Games. For each of these periods, we discussed:

  • What are the key challenges?
  • How do we best organize a system (communication and coordination between stakeholders) to prevent and treat Mental Health issues?
  • How do we organize sporting environments that nourish mental health?

The two-day intensive program included small-group discussions and whole-group presentations and discussions.

The Think Tank had two tangible outcomes (1) a report written for policymakers and sports politicians/managers (headed by Sean McCann) and (2) an academic paper.

Moving forward
We plan to have a third Mente Health workshop, hosted by Brazil. The main topic will be coaches’ mental health.

Participant list

  • William Parham, Professor, and representative of the NBPA
  • Karin Moesch, sports psychologist and representative of FEPSAC
  • Sean McCann, USOPC
  • Karen Cogan, USOPC
  • Amber Donaldsen, USOPC
  • Kristoffer Henriksen, Associate professor and sport psychologist (ISSP)
  • Carsten Hvid Larsen, Associate professor and sport psychologist
  • Artur Poczwadowski (ISSP, representing PARALYMPIC Sport)
  • Franco Noce (ISSP and host of next year’s Think Tank in Brazil).
  • Jason Hunziker (Psychiatrist)
  • Natalie Durand-Bush, MPC and co-founder of the Canadian Mental Health center for sport (AASP)

ISSP Chairperson
Kristoffer Henriksen