LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – In an emotional video, Utah State head football coach Blake Anderson talked about his son Cason’s suicide in February for the first time, hoping to raise awareness about mental health issues.
Utah State is dedicating this Saturday’s game against UNLV to mental health awareness, with both teams wearing green ribbons on their helmets.
“Our lives changed forever on February 28th, 2022, just six months ago,” Anderson said. “A phone call from my brother on a Monday morning told me that Cason didn’t show up for work this morning and nobody could find him.”
Anderson has had to endure too much suffering the last few years. His wife of 27 years, Wendy, died of breast cancer in 2019. Six months later, his father passed away. Then his brother was diagnosed with colon cancer. But the biggest blow of all was out of the blue. Anderson said he didn’t see it coming.
“We had all been reaching out to him,” he said. “I had talked to him on Thursday, and we had a great conversation. He was laughing his head off and cutting it up like he always does. They would all tell you that Cason was normal and Cason had the biggest smile in the room, the biggest laugh in the room. He was always the jokester, always a sarcastic prankster.”
But Cason was suffering, and Anderson teared talking about the devastating emotions he felt the night he lost his son.
“Somewhere in the middle of the night when everybody was gone, Cason went to a place that was so dark, that he didn’t want to do it anymore,” Anderson said. “He didn’t want to be here anymore and he took his own life. Questions were all that were left. Why didn’t I see it? Could I have helped more? What could I done? I mean, he never any of us know. There were no red flags, no warning signs. He always made sure to tell you that he was OK.”
And so Anderson wants to spread awareness about mental health issues, encouraging everybody to get involved with their loved one’s lives.
“Mental health matters,” he said. “I encourage you, if you or someone you know is hurting, step up, speak out and do everything you can to help them find the resources they need.”