Nearly 50,000 Americans died by suicide in 2022. In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, former Major League Baseball player Drew Robinson and the San Francisco Giants Mental Health & Wellness team, in partnership with Vibrant Emotional Health, administrator of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, today announced a campaign focused on increasing awareness of mental health support in the sports industry.
Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the 988 Lifeline is a national network of 215 independently operated centers across 56 States and Territories that provide emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week via phone, text and chat.
Throughout September, Suicide Prevention Month, Robinson and the Giants Mental Health & Wellness team, with support from the Giants organization and its minor league affiliates, will increase visibility and awareness of the 988 Lifeline to bring mental health conversations to the field so that athletes, fans, staff and the MLB community are made aware of available resources.
“Vibrant Emotional Health welcomes this special partnership with Drew and the Giants Mental Health & Wellness team,” said Dr. Tia Dole, Chief 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Officer at Vibrant. “The 988 Lifeline is focused on continually reaching more people, and this initiative will help spread awareness of life-saving resources nationwide. Mental health is important for all communities, and we hope that athletes at all levels of sports feel empowered to access our support services and promote mental well-being.”
To kick off this campaign on September 10, 2023, Giants players and coaches will wear 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline armbands during warmups for their game in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day. The Giants Mental Health & Wellness team will also host a group of high school student leaders of school mental health programs for a pre-game presentation on suicide prevention.
Players and coaches from the Giants’ minor league affiliates will also wear 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline armbands on their sleeves during warmups in the month of September.
“We need to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health care,” said former San Francisco Giants player and current Mental Health Advocate Drew Robinson. “With many people facing mental health challenges, it’s key that these issues are openly discussed and addressed. I’m thankful for Vibrant and the 988 Lifeline’s critical work and look forward to spreading awareness of mental health resources this September and beyond.
Robinson and the Giants are determined to bring important conversations about mental health to the forefront of their work in collaboration with Vibrant and 988 Lifeline. By supporting fellow athletes, normalizing mental health conversations and providing resources, this partnership will continue to prioritize mental wellness and life-saving crisis response within the league and throughout the broader sporting world.
For life-saving crisis support and resources, please visit vibrant.org or 988lifeline.org. If you are in crisis and need help, please call or text 988 or chat online at 988lifeline.org/chat/. Support is also available in Spanish by texting AYUDA to 988.