Ryan Day makes $1 million donation to Ohio State to fund mental health research

·2 min read
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.
Ryan Day donated $1 million to Ohio State to research mental health. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Ohio State football coach Ryan Day and his wife Nina announced a $1 million donation to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine on Wednesday, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The donation will be used to fund mental health research at the university.

Ohio State president Kristina Johnson discussed the donation Wednesday, calling it a "major win," per the Dispatch.

The donation continues Day's willingness to discuss and support mental health. Day and his wife have partnered with the "On Our Sleeves" movement since 2019. The movement aims to "break stigmas and educate families and advocates about children’s mental health."

Day has taken strides toward reducing stigma when it comes to talking about mental health. In 2019, he spoke publicly about his father's death by suicide. Day was nine years old when his father died. Day told Yahoo Sports he experienced anger and resentment after his father's death and realized others went through that same experience and needed help.

“Over the years, what happened was that there was resentment early on,” Day told Yahoo Sports. “Then there was anger. There were these different emotions as we went on. And as I got older, I realized that it’s a sickness.”

Day adds: “You start to see that this is something that's not unique to you, it's gone on everywhere. It's gone on all over the country, and now we're starting to see it happen more and more at the younger age in adolescents and teenagers.”

In March, former Ohio State offensive lineman Harry Miller announced he was medically retiring from football to focus on his mental health. Miller said he had suicidal thoughts in 2021 and went to Day, who immediately put Miller in touch with doctors.

Days after making that announcement, Miller went on "Today" and delivered a message to those dealing with mental health issues, depression and suicidal thoughts.

In Miller's statement announcing his retirement, he said he was "grateful for the infrastructure Coach Day has put in place at Ohio State."

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

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