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Mental health awareness discussions taking center stage at LSU

3 months 1 hour 54 minutes ago Tuesday, January 23 2024 Jan 23, 2024 January 23, 2024 6:54 PM January 23, 2024 in Sports
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Following the suicide of their son Owen, Lisa and Jordan Tabor knew that they were going to honor his memory by doing everything in their power to ensure a different family did not have to endure the pain they were experiencing.

On Monday night at the Pete Maravich Center, the Tabors, along with their Rain Will Bring Flowers Foundation, LSU and their wellness partners will host a mental wellbeing event focused on normalizing the conversations around mental struggles.

"Owen was funny, good looking, athletic, never bullied. Always a friend, always the smile you saw. He had a loving and caring family," Lisa said of her eldest son. "And I say that all because, you know, suicide doesn't have a face, you know, if Owen can fall victim to suicide than any child can."

The Tabors hope Monday's event will open the door to more conversations amongst parents, educators and coaches with young adults about their mental health issues and that those discussions will help cut into the second leading cause of death amongst Louisiana's youth.

"There might be some people in your audience that are thinking I'm not going to spend my evening on Monday night at a mental wellness event, that this doesn't apply to my family. I'll just tell you from experience that I felt the same way," Jordan Tabor said of the event on Monday night.

Tabor added he was a disbeliever in efforts like the one that he's undertaking.

"Eight months ago, there's no way I would give up my Monday night for a mental health event, but I wish I knew. I wish I had more exposure to these type of conversations. I wish I had more education. I really feel like if I had my son still may be with me."

Championship Health Partners LSU Athletics and Our Lady of the Lake are teaming up for “Planting Seeds of Hope,” an inspirational program on the power of hope and normalizing the conversations around mental health. Presented by the Rain Will Bring Flowers Foundation with further support from The Joe Burrow Foundation, “Planting Seeds of Hope” is a free event open to the public beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 29 inside the PMAC.

Highlighting the event is a panel featuring former LSU student-athletes Ashleigh Gnat, Kevin Faulk, and Delvin Breaux Sr., as well as featured speaker Brandon Saho, host and creator of “The Mental Game” Podcast. The Mental Game’s weekly interviews with popular athletes, musicians and other public figures help fight the stigma of mental illness and share inspirational stories of healing.

A former sports reporter, Saho’s stop in Baton Rouge is part of “The Mental Game Tour,” whose mission is to “save lives with impactful conversations about depression, anxiety and mental health.” Alongside the various sponsorship partners, the event will also feature support from the Joe Burrow Foundation, including an appearance from Jimmy and Robin Burrow.

The first 500 attendees to arrive on Monday will receive free Raising Canes, courtesy of the Joe Burrow Foundation.

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