“Live On” brings mental health awareness to LaVell Edwards Stadium
October is mental health awareness month, and BYU football started it off strong by flying a “Live On” flag as the team entered the field against Utah State on Sept. 29.
The organization known as Live On is a mental health and suicide prevention campaign that works towards helping those who are struggling to find hope. Its website, Liveonutah.org, has many resources for those struggling with mental illness and for those who have lost someone due to mental illness.
“Live On is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing our culture around suicide and mental health,” its website states. “Together we can get through, reach out, lift up, look ahead, and Live On.”
Recently, Live On partnered with many colleges and universities around Utah to begin raising awareness on college campuses.
“In 2019, Utah System of Higher Education released a report stating that in a survey of Utah college students, 63 percent of students felt overwhelming anxiety and 46 percent felt so depressed it was difficult to function,” said Alyssa Mitchell, Suicide Prevention Program Manager at Live On.
“During the BYU and Utah State game, the Live On campaign was highlighted during the game as a resource for individuals struggling with mental health and wellbeing,” Mitchell continued. “Also during the month of September, the Live On Campaign launched the Instagram education tool, the “Live On Playbook” to provide suicide prevention tools to everyone in the state of Utah.”
This new playbook, recently released on the Live On Instagram account, features topics such as how to take about mental health, where you can find help and how you can ask for help. Each topic goes more in depth with resources, real stories and step by step processes.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake also commented on the resources for mental health and college students before the game.
“I think it’s important for us to provide every avenue and every possibility to help them along the way, especially in terms of mental illness and mental health,” Sitake said. “Sometimes it’s silent and the more we talk about it and the more we raise awareness, the better our society will be.”
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe has worked with college students and athletes for almost twenty years and has his own four children. He added his thoughts when being interviewed by Live On before the game.
“Everyone one of us has to consider our mental health,” Holmoe said. “We love it when our kids are able to come and get assistance, so I too am super excited for Live On.”
For more information on how to access suicide prevention resources visit liveonutah.org or visit the Instagram account @liveonutah.