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Colts owner Jim Irsay and family host 'Kicking the Stigma' fundraiser beginning Monday

NFL players and celebrities will be online this week for the first-ever virtual "Kicking the Stigma" fundraiser to raise awareness about mental health.
Jim Irsay

INDIANAPOLIS — May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and on Monday, the Irsay family is helping raise awareness to "kick the stigma" associated with mental health disorders. 

Jim Irsay is the owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts. This week he and his family are holding the first-ever virtual fundraiser benefiting "Kicking the Stigma," which is an Irsay family initiative to expand programming for local non-profits that advocate for mental health. These non-profits include Mental Health America Indiana, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Indianapolis, Bring Change to Mind and Project Healthy Minds. 

The fundraiser kicks off on Monday and will run through Thursday, May 6. Events will be held online with NFL players and celebrities. Plus, there will be an auction with items to bid on throughout the week.

The fundraiser's matching partners Faegre Drinker, Huntington Bank, Indiana University Health and Lucas Oil Products have each pledged $25,000.

Monday, May 3: Mental Health Monday

"Today Show" host Carson Daly will hold a roundtable Monday with NFL players Darius Leonard, Hayden Hurst, Solomon Thomas and Darren Waller sharing their personal experiences surrounding mental health. 

Tuesday, May 4: Tell Your Story Tuesday

On Tuesday, video testimonials from Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy, Jeff Saturday, Frank Reich and his wife Linda will be shared. People will be encouraged to share their stories about overcoming the mental health stigma by telling their stories on social media using the hashtag #KickingTheStigma.

Wednesday, May 5: Wellness Wednesday

On Wednesday, video messages and testimonials will be shared from Reggie Wayne, Oscar-winning writer and director Cameron Crowe, actor and comedian Mike Epps, and Colts general manager Chris Ballard.

The Colts will also share different types of wellness activities for the body and mind and direct people to local mental health resources that are free or low-cost. 

Colts cheerleaders will also offer four virtual wellness classes throughout the day at Facebook.com/NFLColtsCheer.

Thursday, May 6: Take Action Thursday

The final day will feature information on how to take control of your mental health and also highlight the work the Colts are doing with community partners. This will also be the final day to bid on auction items. 

The week will conclude with an exclusive "live" program for donors, featuring Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay, along with Chris Ballard and Frank Reich. 

There are three ways to make a donation:

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.

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