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Psychological Safety

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Psychological Safety

Psychological safety is "a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes" (Amy Edmondson, 1999). High psychological safety opens the door for an inclusive, effective, and high performing environment.

It is the cornerstone of creating a positive culture that allows each person to achieve what matters most to them. This could be feeling welcome to try a new sport, making social connections, having opportunities to participate just for fun, competing at a local level, or striving for excellence and success in international competition.


Creating Psychological Safety in your Team

Psychological safety can be created intentionally by using some of the tools in our resource centre. Understand your team’s values, create rules for how you will communicate effectively, normalize disagreements, and learn to deal with issues in a way that improves everyone’s performance.

Once psychological safety is created, people will be in a better position to discuss giving true consent for necessary touching, mental health and illness, concerns about physical safety, and ideas they have for improving their experience or performance.


Psychological Maltreatment:

Psychological maltreatment is any pattern or single serious incident of deliberate conduct that has the potential to harm someone’s psychological well-being. For example: 

  • using words to humiliate, belittle, intimidate, threaten or insult someone;
  • derogatory comments related to someone’s identity;
  • body-shaming or using weight expectations to instill fear;
  • being physically aggressive towards objects, such as throwing things or damaging personal belongings;
  • denying attention or support, such as unreasonably denying feedback or training opportunities.


For a comprehensive (but still not limited) list, see the BC Universal Code of Conduct.


Mental health:

The more we learn about mental health and mental illnesses, the better equipped we are to maintain and improve mental health for ourselves and others. Whether you are looking for more information on a specific mental illness, need some tips on keeping your own mental health in balance, or are looking for help for yourself or someone you care about, there are resources that can help.  Please see the resources below.


Featured Resources:

  1. Learn how to access mental health support in the sport system: (How to access mental health support)
  2. Learn about youth, sport and mental health and wellness
  3. How to build psychological safety
  4. How do I learn more about mental health in sport?
  5. Find mental health support in your area