Depression, anxiety, and suicide are mental health issues especially when it comes to contact sports. Doctors are telling parents to keep their kids out of sports like football and hockey because of studies that show these sports are causing brain damage and later causing depression or suicide. Recently coaches have been bringing awareness to this situation and are teaching kids how to play the game correctly and safely.
Head Football Coach Jon Eagle has shined a light on mental health relating to sports in a different way. This season the Camas Papermaker Football team will be wearing a patch on their helmets with the number three on it. The number three belonged to Tyler Hilinski, a Washington State University Quarterback who took his own life back on January 16th, 2018. The patch is not only to remember Hilinski but it is also to ask the players, do three good things every day.
That is the message from Coach Eagle, do three good things every day. “When it happened back in January, I said, I want to do something on a small scale just to impact the guys on our team, make people aware of what happened, and honor his memory,” as Eagle talks about what the patches meant to him. High school athletes, especially, do not want to show their coaches weakness and do not tell them about concussions or other head injuries usually leading to post-play issues. Depression can be very effective on a teenage kid, even though it is hard to see in a person, teenagers will usually show it the most.
Hilinski’s number and memories are still living on at Washington State University, within his family, and now is spreading across the country. The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation will continue to bring awareness to mental health to prevent any more harm to football players.