By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — September is Suicide Awareness Month. And on Tuesday, Augsburg University assistant hockey coach Mark Wick will hold a golf tournament to raise awareness, because he understands it very well.

Wick was previously head coach at the College of St. Scholastica, and he was carrying a personal secret.

“In the 14th, 15th season, my depression got out of control, because I wasn’t taking care of it, and forced me to take a leave from my team,” Wick said “I came back, and my story was very public about what I’d gone through.”

In 2020, he sees in young people what could trigger the same.

“It’s not normal. Kids aren’t in school, they’re not seeing their friends all day long. They’re not on college campuses and, you know, getting together Saturday to go watch the football game,” Wick said.

What should a coach look for in his athletes, or a teacher in a student?

“Look for changes in behavior. Look to see if they act one way on the court,” he said.

What he’s learned is now his mission.

“It’s OK to reach out if you’re not in a good spot. It’s OK to reach out and ask for some help if you really need it,” Wick said.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available right now, 24 hours a day. Text 741-741, or call 1-800-273-8255.

Mike Max