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Healthy Living: Suffering in silence, stop the stigma around mental illness following apparent suicide of WSU quarterback

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The apparent suicide of WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski is a shock to all who knew him. A young man, just 21-years-old, is someone who friends describe as outgoing and fun-loving.

Pullman Police found the young student-athlete in his apartment with what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  They say they also found a rifle next to Hilinski, along with a suicide note.

Head Coach of the WSU Cougars says Hilinski was an incredible young man, that everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it.  Hilinski has two brothers, both quarterbacks, just like him.  His younger brother Ryan is asking everyone to send their prayers to the family.

Tyler's death has sparked a much larger conversation about suicide and the stigma around mental illness. There are many who struggle in silence, but they don't have to. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

In a post on Instagram, former WSU quarterback and former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe had this to day about Hilinski's death and the stigma around mental illness.

  • drewbledsoe PLEASE READ!! I didn’t know Tyler well but he was a great friend and mentor to my son. That’s all a dad can ask for. As men we have to learn to TALK about how we are feeling. Suicide is the #2killer of men between 18-45!! Reaching out for help when we need it is NOT a sign of weakness. Trusting your friends and asking for help is the ultimate sign of STRENGTH!! If we sprain an ankle we go see a doctor. If we’re struggling emotionally we have to learn to treat it the same way. It’s our obligation to the people we love and the people who love us.

Q13's Marni Hughes sat down with Dr. Sasha Waring from Swedish Behavioral Health to talk about mental health and support.