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HCA: Hilinski’s Hope Foundation named recipient of Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award

June 16, 2020

The award is a part of the Sports Humanitarian Awards

When Tyler Hilinski passed away in January of 2018 his parents Mark and Kym set out to create an organization that would raise mental health awareness for student-athletes. The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation has raised more than half a million dollars towards creating mental wellness programs for student-athletes across the country and on Sunday evening it was announced by ESPN that Hilinski’s Hope was one of the recipients of the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award.

to show ESPN Tweet about the award

The award was created in honor of former ESPN anchor Stuart Scott who battled cancer until his passing in 2015. According to ESPN, the award “celebrates people that have taken risk and used an innovative approach to helping the disadvantaged through the power of sports.” It goes on to say that those who are given the award will “personify the ethos of fairness, ethics, respect, and fellowship with others.”

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Photo Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Hilinski’s Hope Announces ‘3Day’ and Inaugural College Football Mental Health Awareness Week

June 2, 2020

The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation launched Tuesday a call-to-action for colleges to participate in the inaugural College Football Mental Health Awareness Week in October.

The week will kick off on Saturday Oct. 3–known as “3Day.” Seven SEC universities have agreed to participate in helping increase schools’ mental health resources, eliminate stigma and honor victims of mental illness, such as late Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski.

Hilinski, who wore No. 3, died by suicide in January 2018, and doctors diagnosed him with Stage 1 CTE after his death. His parents, Mark and Kim Hilinski, founded Hilinski’s Hope to honor his legacy. Sports Illustrated‘s Greg Bishop previously chronicled the Hilinski family’s search for answers in the aftermath of the tragedy and how they find hope in their foundation’s work.

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David E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated

Hilinski’s Hope announces ‘3DAY’ to kick off College Football Mental Health Awareness Week

June 2, 2020

Hilinski’s Hope announces ‘3DAY’ to kick off College Football Mental Health Awareness Week

The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation announced plans Tuesday to engage programs across the country to use the games of Saturday, Oct. 3, to kick off College Football Mental Health Awareness Week.

Seven SEC universities already have agreed to participate in “3DAY” with a goal to increase resources devoted to mental fitness, decrease stigma and honor the victims of mental illness, such as Tyler Hilinski, the Washington State quarterback who wore No. 3 and died by suicide in January 2018.

Tyler’s parents, Mark and Kym Hilinski, created Hilinski’s Hope after Tyler’s death. Among the seven SEC programs that will participate is South Carolina, where the starting quarterback, sophomore Ryan Hilinski, is Tyler’s younger brother.

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Ivan Maisel

ESPN Senior Writer

As family of Tyler Hilinski grieves, an ESPN writer shares in its sorrow

May 22, 2020

The Mark and Kym Hilinski who will appear on Outside the Lines on Friday (SportsCenter on ESPN at noon ET) have made a long journey since I profiled them in September 2018. They continue to grieve Tyler, their middle son, the Washington State quarterback who died by suicide in January of that year. But their grief is no longer so raw, the pain and hurt and bewilderment no longer so plain on their faces. Time, nature’s plastic surgery, is performing its healing and cosmetic tasks.

They are healing; they never will be healed. But time is undefeated, relentless in its insistence that life continue, no matter what or whom we have lost. The Hilinskis didn’t just move on. They moved — from Orange County to South Carolina, three time zones and 2,400 miles. It sounds hollow to say they moved there to watch their youngest son, Ryan, play quarterback for the University of South Carolina. They moved together, as a family — Mark, Kym and their son Kelly — to support Ryan. But that support runs in both directions. The best tonic for the four of them is to remain physically close.

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Ivan Maisel

ESPN Senior Writer

Photo;  AP Photo/Chris Carlson

OPINION: Be proactive talking about your mental health

April 16, 2020

It is easy to try to take on mental health issues by yourself, but this isn’t the best way to go through life.

DANIELLE DENNEHY, Evergreen Columnist
April 8, 2020

In the last decade mental health has gone from a taboo to something heavily discussed in pop culture and the media. This rise in awareness for other people’s mental well-being has sparked a conversation about how we should handle the subject.

The important part of this conversation is distinguishing between one’s mental health and well being, and what would be considered a mental illness. For everyone there are things that may cause a shift in your mental well-being — something like an international pandemic maybe — but it is important to recognize that this probably won’t cause a long-term mental illness. The dip in mental health will eventually return to balance, though you may have been very anxious or depressed for a period and needed to practice better self care.

“There’s a difference between that mental toughness and struggling with your mental health,” Kym Hilinski, one of the founders of Hilinski’s Hope Foundation, said. “We just want all students to know that they are not weak if they ask for help, if they talk about their emotions. It takes strength to do that.”

The Hilinski’s Hope foundation strives to bring awareness to mental illnesses and destigmatize the conversation around mental health. A big part of their participation on college campuses is bringing the Step Up program to college sports teams. This program teaches players how to look out for changes in behavior from one another that may indicate a need for support. They also try to provide ways to start these conversations in a comfortable way.

Mental illnesses are a touchy subject, as for some this is the way they identify a long-term struggle with mental health problems. The way we initiate conversations about these topics can greatly affect the way someone else reacts to it. In this time of overarching anxiety and inherent reclusive behavior, it’s essential to have lighthearted check-ins with the people you care about regarding their — and your — mental well-being.

Curtis Cohen, the 2020 ASWSU President, made mental health a key element in his campaign. He said their platform for mental health support reform on campus centers around the introduction of a campaign partnered with the 7 Cups program. 7 Cups is an app and website committed to making change in the counseling industry by providing a more open form of communication and providing general training for peer to peer support.

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