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Britain Covey promotes suicide prevention program, sharing personal loss

Britain Covey #18 of the Utah Utes warms up before their game against the BYU Cougars September 11, 2021 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

Britain Covey, wide receiver for the University of Utah’s football program, announced his support for an equestrian and life skills training program for women after he lost two young cousins to suicide.

On June 21, 2021, a huge announcement was made for student-athletes. The supreme court ruled that college athletes would now be able to use their name, image, and likeness for promotions and compensation.

Many of the athletes took to social media over the last few months, promoting certain products or advertising for their favorite brands.

Britain Covey also took to social media.

“I grew to love sports, especially football, but I was always the smallest one. 5′ 8″, 150 pounds in high school,” Covey laughed in his social media post. “Not many go to play college sports after that, but I was lucky enough to do that.”

Sharing an eight-minute video Wednesday, Covey explained he decided if he was allowed to promote things using his image and likeness, he wanted it to be something he cared about.

“For everyone who’s played college sports this name, image, and likeness deal has been a pain point for all of us because we’ve all wanted to have endorsements… I was reached out to in the first week by 15-20 companies saying, ‘hey we’d love to partner with you, we’d love to endorse you,'” Covey said. “It was really cool, but then I just remember thinking, I feel like this could be so much more. I feel like I want to use my name, image, and likeness for something bigger than that.”

 

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A post shared by Britain Covey (@brit_covey2)

Covey then introduced his personal connection to the non-profit organization called Bridle Up Hope, Rachel Covey’s Foundation, an equestrian training and life coaching program.

Covey lost his cousin Rachel to suicide after battling depression in 2012. The 21-year-old was studying to become a veterinarian tech and loved being with horses.

Covey was still recovering from the death of his cousin Rachel when he got more tragic news.

“A few years later, my other cousin on the other side of the family, Jenna, she also committed suicide.”

That’s why Covey says the Bridle Up Hope foundation means so much to him. A program made in Rachel’s honor to help all girls learn that they are enough. The website description says, “The program combines equestrian training, life skills development, service at the barn, and self-renewal activities, with principles from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People integrated throughout.”

Covey described what he considered the most impactful moment of his life. At the funeral service for his cousin Jenna, his aunt, Jenna’s mom, stood up.

“She said, ‘Jenna felt like nobody cared about her. She felt like that if she left that nobody would notice. So if you care about Jenna, I want you to stand up.’ And there wasn’t a single person left in their seat. Everybody in the congregation, thousands of people were standing up,” Covey said. “She said, ‘if you question your self worth don’t you ever for a second think that nobody cares or that nobody notices.'”

Covey getting emotional described how everyone deals with moments where they feel darkness and despair but invited viewers to remember their importance.

“If I have a platform,” Covey said. “Then I want to use it for something that I care about and raise awareness for a charity that means a lot to me and is personal.”

Suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Utah Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at Huntsman Mental Health Institute.

You can also text TALK to 741741 and parents, students, and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.

Additional resources

  • Parents, students, and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.
  • First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals, can chat with a crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app and members of the National Guard can access help through the SafeUTNG app.
  • For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call the Utah Warm Line at 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • At Huntsman Mental Health Institute, women can access maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  • LiveOnUtah.org, a campaign by the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition offers suicide prevention training and has resources for faith-based groups, youth, LGBTQ+, and Employers.

Other community-based organizations that provide suicide prevention services, support groups, mental health education, counseling services and support:

Additional crisis hotlines

  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
  • National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386
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