SPOKANE, Wash. — Beloved WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski’s memory is continuing to inspire a movement to help other college athletes who may be struggling with their mental health.
Hilinski’s Hope, a foundation created to bring mental health resources to student-athletes, is teaming up with the NCAA Sport Science Institute to promote mental wellness support for college athletes, according to a Hilinski’s Hope Facebook post.
Wednesday will mark one year since Hilinski died by suicide.
In a June appearance on the Today Show, the Hilinskis told Hoda Kotb the Mayo Clinic studied Tyler's brain and found evidence of CTE, a degenerative brain disease often found in athletes and veterans. Several studies have linked CTE to playing football.
Hilinski was the second-string quarterback for WSU and was expected to be the starter for the 2018-2019 season.
“He was a bright, spirited, and caring soul. We had no idea he was suffering. Neither did his two brothers, his family, his closest friends, teammates or coaches,” said Tyler’s parents Kym and Mark.
The partnership between the NCAA and Hilinski’s Hope aims to identify effective strategies for “increasing the adoption and implementation for understanding and supporting student-athlete mental wellness at all NCAA member institutions,” according to NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline.
One of the NCAA’s best practices is providing education to student-athletes and coaches related to mental health. Over the last year, Hilinski’s Hope has sponsored mental health training at several universities, including the bystander intervention program Step UP! and mental health curriculum Behind Happy Faces.
If you know someone who is having thoughts of suicide, there is help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is staffed 24/7. That number is 1-800-273-8255.