After Utah State football coach Blake Anderson revealed publicly Monday that his son Cason Anderson died by suicide in February, Utah State Athletics announced Wednesday the establishment of a mental heath and wellness fund in Cason’s memory.
As explained by USU athletics, the fund — formally known as the Robert Cason Anderson Mental Health and Wellness Fund — will “provide enhancements to the athletics department’s mental health and wellness resources.”
Specifically, it will help provide for increased counseling services and educational opportunities regarding mental health and wellness, as well as training for USU student-athletes, coaches and support staff.
It is just the latest demonstration of Utah State’s commitment to the mental health and wellness of its student athletes and others.
As detailed in a university press release, “Utah State is committed to continuing to develop Utah State’s mental health and wellness program through the Robert Cason Anderson Fund, (which) will help increase awareness and tackle the stigma surrounding mental health challenges, while offering greater support to all Utah State student-athletes.”
Over the next two weeks, Utah State’s football program will promote mental health awareness, working with outside parties such as the Hilinski’s Hope Foundation and others, including UNLV, the Aggies’ opponent this weekend.
“There is a passion (for mental health awareness) inside our building,” Blake Anderson said. “Clearly my recent background and what has gone on with my family is something they (those inside USU’s football program) are familiar with, but also a handful of guys on our staff and our players as well.
“This is something that we’ve had several guest speakers come in that have addressed this topic. ... Coach (Marcus) Arroyo and UNLV will be joining with us (this week). We will be wearing green ribbon stickers on the helmets. Both sidelines will be doing that together and both (sets) of coaches will be wearing green ribbon stickers on their shirts.
“... We want to offer support to anybody that might be watching, with anybody who might be dealing with the effects of mental health in their family, dark thoughts of depression and suicide. This is something we have a passion for and we encourage the fanbase to join in and really anybody nationally who is watching.”
More information regarding the Robert Cason Anderson Mental Health and Wellness Fund and how to donate can be found on Utah State’s website.