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Hilinski’s Hope will partner with NCAA and its Sports Science Institute

The organizations will work together to implement best practices for mental health.

The Hilinski’s Hope foundation will be partnering with the NCAA’s Sports Science Institute to “encourage evidence-based approaches to bolster mental wellness support for NCAA student-athletes,” the two organizations announced today via news release.

Hilinski’s Hope was founded Mark and Kym Hilinski, the parents of former WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski, who died by suicide on Jan. 16, 2018. It will be one year since his death on Wednesday.

“He was a bright, spirited, and caring soul. We had no idea he was suffering. Neither did his two brothers, his family, his closest friends, teammates or coaches,” Mark and Kym said in a joint statement.

Hilinski’s Hope already has partnered with several universities, including WSU, to present the bystander intervention program Step UP! and mental health curriculum Behind Happy Faces. The NCAA published a best practices guide for mental health in 2016, and providing education about mental health to athletes and coaches is part of that.

“The NCAA Sport Science Institute is proud to partner with Hilinski’s Hope to identify effective strategies for increasing the adoption and implementation of best practices for understanding and supporting student-athlete mental wellness at all NCAA member institutions,” said Dr. Brian Hainline, Chief Medical Officer for the NCAA.

CougCenter also has been proud to partner with Hilinski’s Hope in this mission. If you’d like to make a direct donation to the foundation — which has raised more than $300,000 so far — you can do so at Additionally, there is still the option to purchase UNIT3D for Hilinski’s Hope apparel; if at least 11 items are purchased over the next two weeks, there will be another printing run.