Category "From the Heart"

May Is Mental Health Month

May 1, 2020

We think about all of you everyday and hope you are staying safe, healthy, and happy during these times of physical distancing and stay at home orders. We miss traveling to schools to be with students and student-athletes but we have confidence that our Hilinski’s Hope trainings will start-up again soon.

In the meantime, H3H has been busy powering the “UNIT3D” podcast. A new resource for student-athletes, (and really it can help many of us) and how they can take care of their mental wellness during these times of uncertainty. We’re grateful to have Ole Miss Sports Psychologist Dr. Josie Nicholson host these podcasts and appreciate all the mental health professionals from universities all over the country who have joined in to lend their knowledge and passion for helping others and their mental wellness. You can find “UNIT3D” on our website HilinskisHope.org, Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re honored that the NCAA Sports Science Institute has included “UNIT3D” as a resource on their website as well.

We have also recently partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and will be working with them to provide mental health support and education in high schools. NAMI is doing great work and we believe this partnership will continue to contribute to our efforts to effect change by bringing awareness to and reducing the stigma attached to mental illness.

May is a special month, for many reasons. May 10: Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, a zoom call won’t capture the same emotions as a hug and being physically with the person we call mom. Our wish is for all families to be with each other that day and if you can’t we hope all the memories of past Mother’s Days will carry you through. May 26: Tyler’s birthday. Ty would have turned 24. I can close my eyes and see him: a bit more handsome, thicker, and the same smile lines around his eyes, those would have grown too. We think Tyler would have been glued to the TV watching his friends get drafted or signed as free agents and probably hoping his name would have been called too.

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Seeking Sanity Amidst Madness

March 30, 2020

Staying Mentally Healthy

This past week was marked on millions of calendars as the start of March Madness. Some make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas to watch 32 games in 48 hours, others travel alongside their alma mater to the stadium housing the hardwood classic, countless others fill out their brackets and tune in online while pretending to get some work done.

Every year, we watch for the story of the underdog who upsets Goliath, the underrated kid passed up by the big conferences enacting revenge, and the Cinderella team without a superstar who shuts down the next top draft pick. Amidst broken brackets, cut down nets, and tears of triumph and defeat, we get to feel part of the history these kids write as they fulfill the dreams they’ve been dreaming since they took their first steps.

What’s Next?

Transitions are always tough as the NCAA reminds us that the vast majority of collegiate athletes “go pro in something other than sports.” However, this year, many student athletes from high school to college played their last game without any fanfare or closure. In fact, they didn’t even know they were playing their last game. The sport they’ve played every day for their entire life that formed a critical part of their identity, is now over and they question, what’s next?

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The Day The World Stopped

January 28, 2020

The Day The World Stopped
January 16th of any year now will be a confusing and sad day for us. While we don’t feel much different any other day this date is particularly hard for one reason. It may be someone’s birthday or wedding anniversary, a proposal date or even some marking of an important milestone. For us, it will always be the day the world stopped. Our beautiful, talented, always smiling son Tyler ended his life on January 16th, 2018 without telling us why. Without mentioning he was struggling or asking for help. He left us that day and a tidal wave of destruction followed in his wake. But, in the times since he passed, we found that he also left us with his love and beautiful memories. Tyler, his brothers, our students, student-athletes, you and so many others have given us hope and help us push forward with Hilinski’s Hope.

We spent the beginning of January on a get-away with Kelly and Ryan, catching our breath and needed time together, remembering Tyler and learning how to smile and laugh again.

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Working To Spread Awareness

December 23, 2019

As your holiday cards come to us we open each one and smile as we look at the beautiful faces and kind greetings within. Thank you for sending us your love and well wishes.

The photo at the top of this note was taken in our Aloha Santa shirts worn every Christmas by our family. We haven’t worn them since Tyler passed but we have taken many photos in our Hilinski’s Hope shirts as we’ve traveled the country working to spread awareness, education and hope to students and colleges.

Your support and commitment to helping us help others has sent us and our mental health professionals in 2019 to UCLA, Tulane, Stonybrook, the University of Texas, Montana State, Pacific Lutheran University, The University of South Carolina, Ole Miss, The University of Missouri, Texas A & M, the ACC, AEC, Big East Health and Wellness Conferences, along with presenting at the Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Conference and the Learfeld/IMG Sports Business Journal Intercollegiate Athletics Forum as well as so many others. We also partnered with Movember for an Awareness Campaign and Ryan threw out the first pitch at the Seattle Mariners Game in honor of Tyler and our beloved CougNation.

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Thanksgiving Note from H3H

November 26, 2019

A Thanksgiving ritual our family enjoyed was holding hands around the dinner table with relatives and friends sharing what we were thankful for. We skipped it last year, we didn’t have Thanksgiving, nor Christmas, it was just too hard, a big piece of our life was missing.

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Building A Foundation

October 8, 2019

Thank you for continuing to follow us on our journey as we try our best to do good in Tyler’s name. Fall is upon us and as we start to see the leaves change colors and the rain begins to fall we are reminded that nothing stays the same. While we will always have sadness in our hearts and lives as we miss Tyler so much, time does seem to change how we manage that sadness and loss.

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