Utah State, BYU Football Teams Combine For Suicide Awareness

by 24USATVSept. 30, 2022, 5 a.m. 19
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PROVO, Utah – Both the Aggie and Cougar teams were led onto the field by “Live On” flags as the programs combine for suicide prevention awareness.

The longtime rivals found the time during a short week of preparation to join with Live On to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

Live On is a public-private mental health and suicide prevention campaign that aims to modify attitudes and social norms to reduce suffering and save lives. The population-oriented, evidence-informed effort brings together diverse partners to develop, launch, and evaluate powerful and effective content to:

1. Establish Mental Health and Suicide Prevention as a Priority for all Utahns

2. Promote Protective Behaviors and Beliefs – increase knowledge and acceptance around help-seeking, safe firearm storage, and stigma reduction

3. Provide Hope and Encourage Social Connection – amplify voices of healing and resiliency, especially from those with lived experience around loss and recovery, and encourage supportive relationships

Utah State dedicated their week of preparation against UNLV to mental health awareness.

Part of that process was establishing the Robert Cason Mental Health and Wellness Fund in honor of head coach Blake Anderson’s son Cason who committed suicide earlier this year.

The Mental Health and Wellness Fund will provide enhancements to the athletics department’s mental health and wellness resources. It will provide increased mental health and wellness counseling services, educational opportunities, training, and programming for student-athletes, coaches, and support staff.

Utah State’s mental health and wellness program with the Robert Cason Anderson Fund will increase awareness and help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health challenges, all while offering more support to all USU student-athletes.

During a 6:47 video posted to Utah State football’s social media accounts, the head coach shared details about his personal life, difficult challenges his family has faced, and stressed the importance of mental health.

“We have had a lot of good conversations about this something that we all feel very strongly about,” he began his comments. “We’d love for you to join with us and support this cause and hopefully help those in need.”

Anderson highlighted that he “grew up in an era at a time where as a man, you didn’t show that you were hurting you. You didn’t show that you had pain or you didn’t cry you.”

BYU/Utah State kicked off at 6 p.m. (MT) on ESPN and KSL NewsRadio. Every Utah State football game can be heard on the KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White on the call.

If you or someone you know is struggling or needs support, it is always available with SafeUT, a crisis chat and tip line. 833-372-3388

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