HELENA — Carroll College athletics has partnered with the Hilinski's Hope Foundation, a foundation to honor the legacy of the late Washington State quarterback, and more importantly, son of Kym and Mark Hilinski, Tyler Hilinski. Over 115 schools around the country are participating in the third annual College Football Mental Health Week spearheaded by the Hilinksi family.
“We want them to know that they matter much more than their sport. And so much of their identity is tied up into their sport. And I think that's also tied up to the winds and their losses. And we want them to know that they matter more than that,” Kym Hilinski said.
They hope that through their presentations student-athletes understand that there are resources available to them.
“If you get nothing else out of these talks, just remember that you don't need a tragedy to ask for help. And I think a lot of our student athletes are so used to grinding they're so used to fighting through obstacles and meeting challenges that, you know, that's sort of their ideal, but you don't have to wait until it's out of control to ask for help,” Mark Hilinski said.
All of Carroll's athletics teams were in attendance Tuesday night, and the Hilinski's messaging did stick with the athletic teams of Carroll College.
“One thing I pulled from this presentation was just making sure that we're checking in on our teammates, family, friends, coaches, and just always making sure we're an ally for someone if they need help, and always checking in ourselves as well, to make sure that we're doing okay. And in the best mental capacity we could be,” Maddie Geritz, Carroll College women's basketball player and student-athlete advisory committee president said.
The most important things can be so simple.
“Just check in on people. Be good to people,” Geritz said.
Struggling? Please call 9-8-8, the Montana Suicide Prevention/ Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
Additional resources for Carroll College students and student-athletes can be found here.
Carroll College's wellness office has the following additional resources for athletes accessible in their athletic app:
Learn more about local suicide prevention education at https://lcsuicideprevention.org/upcoming-training-opportunities/ [lcsuicideprevention.org].