Utah State football players are speaking out as part of a multiweek effort to promote mental health awareness and reduce stigma surrounding mental health challenges.
As part of a mental health awareness push, announced by head coach Blake Anderson on Monday, testimonials by various Aggies have been and will continue to be posted and promoted on social media throughout the coming week and a half.
“We would welcome the fanbase and the valley (Cache Valley) to join with us as we promote mental health awareness,” Anderson said. “This is something that our staff, our players have had a lot of conversations about. It is something that there is a passion inside our building.
“We will be launching some things on our social media platforms, dropping testimonials all week long, releasing resources and as we get close and closer to games, support for anybody that may be watching, for anybody who may be dealing with mental health in their family, dark thoughts, depression and suicide.”
Here are the Utah State player testimonials that have posted thus far. This story will be updated throughout the week as more Aggies speak about mental health awareness.
Utah State Aggie punter Stephen Kotsanlee’s story
Utah State Aggie long snapper Jacob Garcia’s story
Utah State offensive lineman Calvin Knapp’s story
The effect of Utah State’s mental health awareness push has already been felt among the Aggies themselves, to positive effect.
“That (mental health) is not something that is talked about a lot in the football world,” offensive lineman Jacob South said. “We are always just talking about football, and there are a lot of guys who do struggle with mental health
“It is nice to have someone come in and actually talk to you and tell you that you are not alone in this or there are people who are wanting to talk to you about it. Wanting to listen. I am really grateful we are having this week dedicated to this cause, because it really is important, especially to college athletes.”