UD athletics recognize Mental Health Week

In collaboration with the Hilinski’s Hope Foundation, UD sports will be honoring Mental Health Week starting on Oct. 2. Photo of the Huber (left, No. 11) and Gemelli (No. 22) celebrating during the women’s soccer game on Sept. 24. Courtesy of Keegan Gupta. 

Jamie Blodgett | Contributing Writer

The University of Dayton is partnering with Hilinski’s Hope Foundation in response to the national Mental Health Week starting Saturday, Oct. 2.

H3H said the week will highlight a “call-to-action for colleges and universities nationwide to participate in breaking down stigma, offering quality resources and letting student athletes know that we care.” The foundation will also highlight Mental Illness Awareness Week from Oct. 3 to Oct. 9 as well as World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10. 

The Flyers football team featured helmet decals of a lime green ribbon during their game on Sept. 25. These decals convey solidarity with individuals struggling with mental illness. The “#3” featured on the decals is in honor of Tyler Hilinski, former quarterback for Washington State who died by suicide in 2018. Hilinski’s number also represents all the lives lost to suicide as well as supporting those who suffer in silence. 

Football head coach Rick Chamberlin said the Flyers wore the decals ahead of mental health week because the team will not be home for their game on Oct. 9 during the national week of remembrance.

“Players will have stickers promoting mental health, plus a video will be shown during the game, just telling people there’s help for you,” Chamberlin said ahead of the game. 

The women’s soccer team acknowledged mental health awareness during their Sunday game against Davidson by wearing lime green headbands, ribbons and pins. A brief message by the public announcer at Baujan Field also addressed mental health for collegiate athletics.

The men’s soccer and volleyball teams will be performing similar acts to bring awareness to mental health during their games on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3.

H3H will be holding a mental health training event for student-athletes, coaching staff and sports psychologists on Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. to address “signs of struggle, how to check in with their own mental health and simple steps to help themselves and their teammates stay mentally healthy.” 

“To all those struggling, you don’t have to walk along or suffer in silence. We look towards a future free from mental health stigma, because each and every one of us has mental health, and mental health matters,” H3H said in a statement to universities and collegiate athletes.

You are not alone:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

University of Dayton Counseling Center: 937-229-3141

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