COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State football coach Ryan Day and his wife, Nina, are making a large donation to fund research and mental health services.
Kristina M. Johnson, Ohio State University president, and Ryan and Nina Day spoke about the donation at a 10:30 a.m. press conference. Called the Nina and Ryan Day Resilience Fund, the coach’s family said it would be housed in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.
The family is dedicating $1 million in the fund to benefit the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the College of Medicine.
Day has long made a point of advocating for mental health. He lost his father, Raymond, to suicide at age 8, and earlier this year, he supported the decision of offensive lineman Harry Miller to leave the team because of mental health issues.
“We just felt like it was the right thing to do, so many people have poured into us and invested into our family,” Ryan Day said. “We just think it’s the right thing to do to give back.”
Meanwhile, his wife Nina has discussed her own struggles with anxiety.
“We want our kids to understand, that life is about enjoying the highs and managing the lows,” said Nina Day.
One of the goals of the fund would be to destigmatize mental health and get people the support they need.
“We need to fight mental illness, just like we fight cancer, just like we fight heart disease, just like we fight any other physical illness,” said Dr. Luan Phan, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the Ohio State University.
Ryan Day said they hope to continue this work well into the future.
“The city of Columbus and Ohio State is really at the forefront of mental health, and so to be a part of that, means a lot to our family, and we hope that we know more in five years; five, ten years down the road, we know much more than we do right now,” he said.