Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Nearly 800,000 people a day — that’s 2,191 a day, 91 an hour — take their own lives. The suicide rate is four times higher for American males between ages 15 and 24 at 20 per 100,000, a rate that is more than 16 percent higher than it was in 1999. Suicide is also the second-leading cause of death for all people between the ages of 10 and 34, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Two members of the college football community have become acutely aware of this tragedy of late. On Jan. 16 of this year, Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski took his own life. When it came time to tell their story, ESPN had a natural choice among its roster of writers in Ivan Maisel, whose son, Max, also committed suicide as a 21-year-old college junior three years ago.
Maisel ultimately produced this piece, which you should read.
ESPN also produced this companion piece, which aired on Saturday’s edition of College GameDay.
In the aftermath of Hilinski’s death, Doug created the #BeTheChange initiative, a call to arms for all coaches to tackle the challenge of suicide among young men.