Published: Sept. 5, 2019

CU Athletics has designated Saturday’s football game as this year’s mental health awareness game. This marks the second year the Athletics Department has featured this important topic throughout a football game to help destigmatize myths about mental health and encourage those in need to seek support.

During the game, fans will see three videos promoting messages about mental health support services and what the Athletics Department and broader campus are doing to address this national issue, including the CU Athletics Bolder Buffs peer advocacy support group and the “BeThe1To” suicide prevention campaign.

Mental health awareness facts will be posted on the stadium big screens throughout the game. Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Athletic Director Rick George will also talk about mental health progress made on campus.

“Maintaining positive health and wellness for our student-athletes is the No. 1 priority we have at the Athletics Department,” George said. “Mental health is a key component of that. I’m proud that our student-athletes have immediate access to in-house sports psychologists who can provide the help they need. And I am also impressed that our student-athletes have taken it upon themselves to create the Bolder Buffs advocacy group so that they can have peer-to-peer conversations on how they are feeling. Mental health affects us all. So let’s talk about it.”

The Athletics Department is partnering with the Ryder Fund and CU Boulder Health and Wellness Services to give away mental health awareness T-shirts to the first 4,000 students with their Buff OneCards. Distribution will occur at Gate 7; students should arrive early to be in the stadium by the time Ralphie runs.

“Struggling with mental health can happen to anyone, regardless of age or background,” said Jennifer McDuffie, CU Boulder’s associate vice chancellor of health and wellness. “In recent years, we have seen trends across the country of college students needing more access to support services. We are a part of that trend at CU and that’s why we have bolstered our in-person and online services to meet this critical need. It’s important that our students know we have many resources for them. They are not alone.”