Saluki Athletics and SIH Announce “Rally Around the Pound” Mental Health Initiative

CARBONDALE, Ill. — In an effort to raise awareness of the growing mental health crisis in our country and region, Saluki Athletics and SIH are partnering in an initiative, Rally Around the Pound.

Throughout the school year, SIU athletic teams will support mental and behavioral health initiatives by bringing speakers, outreach, outreach, and support to our region and campus.

“Partnering with SIU on an initiative such as ‘Rally Around the Pound’ is a winning combination for SIH,” said Don Hutson, vice president of SIH and trustee of SIH Harrisburg Medical Center. “Supporting athletes and student-athletes to speak openly about mental health issues in a public forum is a significant step toward hope and healing.”

Hutson believes that just as mental health issues can produce physical health issues, improving your mental health can improve your overall health and well-being.

“As a health system that has supported southern Illinois for decades, SIH is committed to doing everything in its power to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health,” he explained. “Whether it’s access to hospital treatment or the ability to speak with a provider in person or via telemedicine, SIH is committed to providing that care. Our message is consistent and clear: you can ask help.”

A dedicated Rally Around the Pound landing page can be found on the Saluki Athletics website, where statistical information on mental health can be found, as well as resources and upcoming events in the community supporting awareness of mental health.

“We are extremely proud to partner with SIH, our region’s leading healthcare provider, on this crucial initiative,” said SIU Athletic Director Tim Leonard. “We look forward to raising awareness about mental health issues and providing valuable resources to our community.”


If you know someone, or if you yourself suffer from behavioral or mental health issues, it’s easier than ever to get help and access resources with the national 988 hotline.

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