The Hilinski's Hope Foundation launched Tuesday a call-to-action for colleges to participate in the inaugural College Football Mental Health Awareness Week in October.
The week will kick off on Saturday Oct. 3–known as "3Day." Seven SEC universities have agreed to participate in helping increase schools' mental health resources, eliminate stigma and honor victims of mental illness, such as late Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski.
Hilinski, who wore No. 3, died by suicide in January 2018, and doctors diagnosed him with Stage 1 CTE after his death. His parents, Mark and Kim Hilinski, founded Hilinski's Hope to honor his legacy. Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop previously chronicled the Hilinski family’s search for answers in the aftermath of the tragedy and how they find hope in their foundation's work.
Schools to participate in "3Day" include Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Ole Miss and South Carolina, where Tyler's younger brother Ryan plays quarterback for the Gamecocks. Participating programs are asked to have helmet stickers showcasing a lime green ribbon with a "3" in the middle and/or have fans raise three fingers in the air during the first play of the third quarter. Last season, South Carolina honored Tyler Hilinski by having fans hold up three fingers during games.
"As we continue to do all we can around mental illness, we're grateful to be able to showcase the importance of mental health in the collegiate athletics world by creating College Football Mental Health Awareness Week," said Mark Hilinski.
"Tyler was this bright shining light and had so many looking up to him–his teammates, family, friends, future athletes–and we hope that schools around the country will consider joining us in our fight against the darkness that surrounds mental illness and increasing resources and conversations on campus."
Hilinski's Hope also asks universities to evaluate their mental health resources for students and personnel during Mental Illness Awareness Week on Oct. 4-10.