After Utah football coach Blake Anderson revealed publicly After his son Cason Anderson took his own life in February, Utah State Athletics announced Wednesday the creation of a mental health and wellness fund in Cason’s memory.
According to USU Athletics, the fund — formally known as the Robert Cason Anderson Endowment for Mental Health and Well-being — will “enhance the mental health and well-being resources of the athletics department.”
Specifically, it will help provide greater counseling services and educational opportunities around mental health and wellness, as well as training for USU’s student-athletes, coaches and support staff.
This is just the latest demonstration of Utah State’s commitment to the mental health and well-being of its student-athletes and others.
As detailed in a university press release, “Utah State is committed to continuing to grow Utah’s mental health program through the Robert Cason Anderson Foundation, (which) will help raise awareness and combat the stigma surrounding mental health issues by offering more support to all Utah student-athletes “.
Over the next two weeks, the Utah football program will be promoting mental health awareness by partnering with other parties such as the Hilinski Hope Foundation and others, including UNLV, the Aggies’ opponent this weekend.
“There’s a passion (for mental health awareness) in our building,” Blake Anderson said. “Obviously my recent background and what’s been going on with my family is something they (those involved with the USU football program) are familiar with, but so are a handful of guys on our staff and our players are as well.
“It’s that we’ve had a number of guest speakers who have touched on this topic. … Coach (Marcus) Arroyo and UNLV will be joining us (this week). We will wear green ribbons on our helmets. Both side lines will do it together and both (sets of) coaches will wear green stickers with ribbons on their shirts.
“… We want to offer support to anyone who may be watching, to anyone who may be dealing with mental health effects in their family, with dark thoughts of depression and suicide. It’s something we’re passionate about and we encourage fans to join in and everyone watching in the country.”
More information about the Robert Cason Anderson Foundation for Mental Health and Wellbeing and ways to donate can be found at State of Utah website.