The NCAA has awarded a $50,000 grant to the University of Michigan to create a mental health initiative for its athletes, according to the Detroit News.
The grant was jointly awarded to the school's athletic department, Depression Center and School of Public Health. The three will work together to develop the mental health program, which will include educational videos and support groups.
Former Michigan football player Will Heininger will be assisting with the program. Heininger, who came to the Wolverines as a walk-on but became a starter on their 2011 Sugar Bowl-winning team, revealed to the News that he had to overcome severe depression when he was a redshirt freshman in 2008. He said he wants to help shed light on the issue of depression among college athletes.
"We want to educate and help people catch things early. Mental illness is a human condition just like the common cold and the flu. This program ... We’re going to change the culture on campus surrounding mental health, so everyone knows it’s normal, that these struggles really are normal, just, like breaking your arm. We don’t want anyone to suffer in silence.”
According to the Associated Press, Michigan will present the results of the implementation of the program at the NCAA Convention in January.
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