Submitted by Hilinski’s Hope Foundation.
Hilinski’s Hope Foundation (H3H), founded by Mark and Kym Hilinski to honor the legacy of their son Tyler, today announced that over 150 schools and organizations around the country will be participating in Student Athlete Mental Health Week, the organization’s fourth annual week of collective action dedicated to addressing the mental wellbeing of student athletes, from September 30th to October 7th.
Pacific Lutheran University is set to participate in Student Athlete Mental Health Week (Sept. 30 – Oct. 7) alongside 155+ other colleges and universities around the country. Organized by Hilinski’s Hope – the foundation Kym and Mark Hilinski started in honor of their son Tyler (former Washington State University quarterback) who died by suicide, student-athlete mental health has never been a more important conversation.
As one of the schools partnering with Hilinski’s Hope this year, Pacific Lutheran University recognizes the importance of mental health and will be participating in activities throughout the week to honor Tyler, those lost and those suffering and address mental health with their student athletes.
“We miss Tyler every day, but we know that he would be so proud of the difference we are working to make in the lives of student athletes,” said Kym Hilinski, co-founder of Hilinski’s Hope. “In the last four years, Mark and I have traveled all over the country, speaking with students, sharing Tyler’s story, and encouraging these tough but crucial conversations. We’re incredibly honored to be joined by over 150 schools this year to fight stigma and increase mental health resources on campuses.”
During Student Athlete Mental Health Week, student athletes and athletic departments across the country will participate in breaking down stigma, offering quality resources, and letting student athletes know they are supported.
“I want to make talking about mental health normal. Hilinski’s Hope has turned a devastating life event into a force for good by taking action and creating Student Athlete Mental Health Week,” said Caleb Williams, University of Southern California quarterback, founder of the Caleb Cares Foundation and 2022 Heisman Trophy recipient. “Hilinski’s Hope is making talking about mental health normal. This is so important because we all have the power to help someone by simply reaching out and checking in. You never know what someone is going through and how you can impact them and maybe save a life.”
Participating schools have committed to at least one of the following during the week: encouraging students, parents, alumni, and fans to participate in showing solidarity, eliminating stigma around mental health by holding three fingers to the sky during the first play of the third quarter; playing a Hilinski’s Hope PSA at the SAMHW games; wearing one of the many “3” ribbon products sent by H3H to their campus, participating in social media campaigns during the week, engaging in an internal assessment to evaluate how their campus is following best practices in terms of mental health programs, and include talks and trainings on campus for players, coaches, and staff.
“On or off the field, the wellbeing of our players has always been one of our top priorities at the University of Oklahoma ” said Patty Gasso, Head Coach of University of Oklahoma Softball. “In their adoption of Student Athlete Mental Health Week, we are proud to stand with Hilinski’s Hope as they continue to advocate for the mental health and safety of student athletes of every sport and level.”
H3H has created evidence-based mental health resources, including the Game Plan and Online Mental Health Course, which work to educate and reduce the stigma of seeking help for mental health concerns, along with providing a new way of thinking and addressing mental health.
“Education and awareness are critical in connecting student-athletes to mental health resources and no organization is doing more to promote athlete mental health than Hilinski’s Hope,” said Dr. Dylan Firsick, Assistant Athletic Director, Director of Mental Health and Performance at the University of Georgia. “The University of Georgia is proud to partner with Hilinski’s Hope and encourage all athletic departments to do the same for the 2023 Student Athlete Mental Health Week.”
Student Athlete Mental Health Week coincides with Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 1-7, culminating on World Mental Health Day on October 10.
Hilinski’s Hope would like to say a special thank you to our lead sponsors College Hill Threads, Lombardi Wines, Carelon, Uncork for Hope and Sack The Stigma for helping make Student Athlete Mental Health Week possible.
To learn more and/or get involved with Hilinski’s Hope Foundation please visit https://www.hilinskishope.org/samhw.
About Hilinski’s Hope:
H3H helps colleges and universities save lives, eliminate stigma, and scale mental wellness programs for student athletes. H3H does this by sharing Tyler’s story, connecting students with mental health resources, and assisting universities to institutionalize best practices. To learn more about H3H please visit www.hilinskishope.org