In 2016, an NCAA mental-health task force developed a number of best practices ranging from protocols for athletes in crisis to promoting overall mental well-being. In January 2018, the death by suicide of Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski reinforced the continuing need for mental-health services to support student athletes. Hilinski’s Hope Foundation is a non-profit organization formed by Tyler’s family to promote awareness and education of mental health and wellness for student athletes. The Hilinski’s Hope foundation is now partnering with the NCAA’s Sports Science Institute to “encourage evidence-based approaches to bolster mental wellness support for NCAA student-athletes,” the two organizations announced today via news release.
This month University of Montana Grizzly football player, 22-year-old Andrew Harris, was found dead in his Missoula home in what police believe to be a suicide. The startling suicide statistics from the CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate suicide rates among the US working age population increased 34 percent during 2000-2016. Taking care of mental/emotional health is just as important to a long healthy life as taking care of your physical health.
Suicide touches us all. Make each week in 2019, Suicide Prevention Week!
Suicide Warning Signs:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing their use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.