Son’s Death Pushes Utah State’s Blake Anderson To Face Vulnerabilities
Sep 30, 2023, 9:25 AM | Updated: 9:41 am
(Courtesy of Utah State Athletics)
LOGAN, Utah – Suicide prevention month strikes a personal tone for third-year Utah State football head coach Blake Anderson.
After losing his wife Wendy to breast cancer in 2019, Anderson’s 21-year-old son Cason took his life by suicide in February 2022.
Anderson talked with ESPN College GameDay about how he has grown from those experiences before his Utah State team takes on the UConn Huskies on Saturday, September 30.
If you or someone you know are struggling, PLEASE don’t try and carry it alone. Your life matters. You are loved and have purpose. When you feel like giving up, when it’s too heavy to carry… There are others not just willing, but wanting to help you carry it. 💚 https://t.co/ccVoa9Ot2i
— Brittany Anderson (@brittm_anderson) September 30, 2023
Following Cason’s death, Anderson learned that his son was in one of the highest-risk age groups for suicide. “Males of his age group, the numbers are just skyrocketing.”
The knowledge helped the USU coach realize the fortunate position he was in. By being honest about his struggles, Blake Anderson could be a source of light for his players.
“If I can’t share my brokenness and my vulnerabilities, then how can I expect these guys to do the same?”
Since that time, several players have reached out to Anderson in their moments of darkness.
“I needed to find purpose in the pain,” Anderson remembers. “If you’re struggling, it is okay to be broken. It is okay to ask for help. If it’s possible to stop it before it gets to that point, then we’ve gotta do everything we can to keep it from happening.”
If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available 24/7 at the National Suicude Prevention Line. Call 988 or visit https://afsp.org/
Robert Cason Mental Health and Wellness Fund
USU and Anderson have combined to establish the Robert Cason Mental Health and Wellness Fund.
The Mental Health and Wellness Fund will provide enhancements to the athletics department’s mental health and wellness resources. It will provide increased mental health and wellness counseling services, educational opportunities, training, and programming for student-athletes, coaches, and support staff.
Utah State Athletics Establishes Cason Anderson Mental Health and Wellness Fund.
— Utah State Athletics (@USUAthletics) September 21, 2022
Utah State’s mental health and wellness program with the Robert Cason Anderson Fund will increase awareness and help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health challenges, all while offering more support to all USU student-athletes.
How To Watch Utah State Aggies vs. UConn Huskies
Saturday, September 30 – Rentschler Field | Storrs, CT
RADIO: Aggie Sports Network
• Scott Garrard & Kevin White
• Online: KSL Sports Zone
TV: CBS Sports Network
• Chris Lewis, Ross Tucker, & Keiana Martin
• Xfinity (Utah): Ch. 269/753HD
• DISH: Ch. 158
• DirecTV: Ch. 221
Following The Aggies With KSL Sports Zone
Utah State (1-3) is in Storrs, CT for the second time in program history to take on the UConn Huskies (0-4) as USU wraps up its non-conference schedule on Saturday, September 30. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 a.m. (MT).
Utah State football games are found on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White (1988-89) on the call.
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