Dozens gather for Tyler's Hike, raising awareness about mental health

WHITMAN COUNTY, Wash. - Dozens of friends, family members and people impacted by Tyler Hilinski's story hiked up Kamiak Butte County Park's Pine Ridge Trail, to celebrate his life and raise awareness for mental health. 

Kamiak Butte is 14 miles north of Pullman and was one of Tyler's favorite places to visit.

"This was one of Tyler's favorite hikes," said Noah Osur-Myers, a WSU Football player, "he used to do it with his mom and brother after a game on Sunday."

"We would get to the top and look out over the Palouse," said Kym Hilinski, Tyler's mother, "I always feel him when I'm up at the top, it brings me peace.

Tyler took his own life in January. He was just 21-years-old. In June, Tyler's parents shared he was posthumously diagnosed with Stage 1 Chronic Traumatic Encephalathopy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans and others with a history of repetitive head trauma.

"He made an impact on a lot of lives," said his mother. "I think his spirit is continuing to do good things."
Following Tyler's death, the Hilinski family formed the Hilinski's Hope Foundation to promote mental health among student athletes and change the conversation surrounding mental illness.

"You are told to be tough and stick through everything, but its also important to talk through these things," said Miranda Armstrong, a former WSU student-athlete, and Tyler's friend.  

To make a donation to Hilinski's Hope, click here

The National Suicide Hotline provides free, 24/7 confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Please call 1-800-273-8255 if you're feeling suicidal.



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