The celebration of mental health sends a powerful message

Georgia Football announced Friday that the team would be attending Mental Health Week. In the world we live in today, it’s fantastic to see the university taking this initiative.

Mental health is so important, especially for student athletes who have so much pressure on them to perform at this high level. When the university announced it would recognize this, it was important to write about it.

This initiative partners with Hilinski’s Hope, a non-profit organization focused on athlete mental health. It’s great to see Georgia working with this amazing organization and showing their student-athletes how much they care about them.

Georgian football will wear stickers in support of Mental Health Week on October 8th.

Hilinski’s Hope’s mission is to advance awareness and education about mental health and wellbeing for student athletes. It ultimately wants to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and fund programs that provide these student-athletes with the resources they need.

After Tyler Hilinski, a Washington state quarterback who committed suicide in 2018, his parents founded this nonprofit to help other athletes know it’s okay not to be okay. Mental health is such a complex topic of discussion that being a college-level soccer player on top of your schoolwork can be challenging.

This initiative is so important because so many forget that these athletes are people with feelings too. So many fans rattle on about their favorite teams and the programs they hate, not realizing that some of the things they say are hurtful. These athletes can take criticism, but there’s a fine line between constructive criticism and shallow judgment.

Georgia decided to participate in Mental Health Week 2022 with the Hilinski’s Hope Foundation during the week of October 1-8, which coincides with Mental Illness Awareness Week.

World Mental Health Day occurs on October 10th, so this foundation has partnered with various college football teams to curate a collaborative week of action focused on educating people about mental health resources on campus.

If a student-athlete doesn’t see it as okay and is brave enough to tell the world they’re struggling, much of it goes undetected because they may feel embarrassed.

Seeing universities coming together and sending out the message that mental health is just as important as physical health lets those struggling know that it’s okay to talk about it.

Kudos to Georgia for joining this initiative and even greater appreciation to Athletic Director Josh Brooks for his support. It shows current and future athletes not just of football but of all sports at the University of Georgia that their school cares about them.

Georgia will don the sticker during the Auburn game at home between the hedges this week in October and it will be a pivotal moment. Visit Hilinski’s Hope on their website to learn more about what they do for student athletes.

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