May Is Mental Health Month

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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It’s hard to imagine all the things Tyler would be or should be doing…but really we just miss his smile and laugh and uplifting spirit around us all. To think he’d likely be “stuck” with us via a stay at home order is just a part of the daily hills we climb to cultivate something positive out of our circumstances. We are grateful that we get more time with Kelly and Ryan during these times and trying to make the most of each day for them and for you.

May is also Mental Health Awareness Month and we’re re-launching the 3 for 3 Burpee Challenge. Together we can break the stigma, raise awareness, and get up for those who are down by doing 3 burpees and challenging 3 others to do the same. If you can’t burpee tell us why taking care of your mental health is important to you or share ways you keep your mental health a priority. Take a look at the attached graphic and video. Be sure to use hashtag #3for3 and tag us at @HilinskisHope with your videos. We can’t wait to see them.

We want to make one special mention to an old and very dear friend, Jay Marconi, Mark’s best friend from Damien High School Jay is the unofficial winner of the last Burpee Challenge. He went well over 3333 burpees including 189 in March, 726 in April, and last May 1000 with 100 in a row atop a castle in Italy. Jay has never stopped and we can’t express how much his weekly, even daily, check-ins and texts mean to us.

As we begin to move toward what will be our new normal we will continue to hold all of you in our hearts. Your gracious support gives us the strength and courage to continue to remember honor Tyler and help others who may be suffering in silence.

With hope and love that the next newsletter sees us all healthy and moving forward patience and grace for one another…

Mark and Kym