Gophers football hosting mental health awareness game Saturday

The University of Minnesota has announced Saturday’s football game as its second mental health awareness game.

Kickoff against Western Illinois is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Huntington Bank Stadium.

The Gophers first hosted a mental health awareness game in 2019. Saturday, players will wear green ribbons — the international symbol of mental health awareness — on their helmets and an in-game video focusing on the importance of mental health will also be played in the stadium.

Additionally, the program says it is partnering with Rachel Joy Baribeau, a speaker, author and founder of I’m Changing the Narrative. Baribeau, an advocate for mental health awareness and resources, will be at Saturday’s game and has spoken with Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck and the team for the past several years.

U of M students can reach out to Boynton Health or contact Student Counseling Services for in-person or telehealth. After-hours help is available at 612-301-4673 or by texting “UMN” to 61222.

Other resources can be found below.

Here is a list of suicide prevention and mental health resources:

If you believe someone is at risk of suicide, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests you:

  • Ask questions about whether the individual is having suicidal thoughts.
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • Seek help from a medical or mental health professional. If it is an emergency situation, take the person to a hospital.
  • Remove any objects from a person’s home that could be potentially used in a suicide.
  • Do not leave the person alone, if possible, until help is available.

The U.S. National Suicide Prevention organization has also compiled a list of resources to help with coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.