Hilinski family to be on the TODAY Show discussing Mental Health Awareness Month

SPOKANE, WASH- On the Today Show this morning the Hilinski family will sit down with families of other athletes who died by suicide.

May is mental health awareness month, the Hilinski family has turned his death into a way to help others but I found it in the organization “Hilinskis Hope.”

His parents are still struggling with their loss, but they hope their experience will resonate, not just with other parents, but with society as a whole.

The 21-year-old was found dead in his apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Police say a suicide note was found.

Hilinski was listed as a redshirt sophomore quarterback at the time.

That night students came together and were heartbroken, but it helped start a much larger conversation for students in sports and outside of sports regarding mental health on college campuses.

“I think we kind of felt like, if this can happen to Tyler, it can happen to anybody. Our family was – we were so close and we loved each other and we talked every day, right. We did all this stuff,” Mark Hilinski said.

In a previous interview with today, Mark and Kym Hilinski said there weren’t any signs from their son or to anyone at Washington State that their son was suffering.

Following their son’s death, the Hilinski’s received a request from the Mayo Clinic to examine Tyler’s brain.

The results showed Tyler had the brain of a 65-year-old and stage 1 CTE.

Hilinski’s death sparked a national conversation about mental health, and resources are always available:

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide in any way, the national suicide prevention lifeline is open 24/7. Call: 1-800-273-8255.

If you would rather text, you can send the word “connect” to 741-741.

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