WSU Athletics launches Suicide Prevention Awareness campaign

WSU Athletics launches Suicide Prevention Awareness campaign

As the Cougar nation is still reeling from the suicide of WSU football player Tyler Hilinski earlier this year, WSU Athletics has created a public service campaign, aimed at preventing suicides on campuses across the country.

Hilinski was a promising young quarterback who chose to end his life in January. Since then, WSU has laid out steps to increase awareness about mental health issues.

In an announcement Friday, WSU Athletics sent out a video made by student-athletes, designed to remind people about the pressures they face and that help is available. You can watch the video here.

Athletics has partnered with the JED Foundation, which works to protect emotional health and to prevent suicide in teens and young adults.

“JED has not only educated us on best practices to help our students, but also has been instrumental in helping us understand the best ways for us to honor Tyler and to prevent suicides,” Athletic Director Pat Chun said in a news release.

WSU Athletics has several things planned in September, which is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. They will paint purple and turquoise ribbons on the field to bring awareness to suicide prevention; they will display a Hilinski’s Hope flag in Martin Stadium throughout the season; each WSU player will have a #3 decal on their helmet; Tyler’s family will raise the flag before the first home game September 8th for a moment of “healing, hope, positivity and love”; on September 13th, WSU will welcome former Coug Ryan Leaf to campus to share his journey of addiction and mental health struggles.

WSU will announce other programs and initiatives in the coming weeks.