Mike Trout's best friend and Jess Trout's brother, Aaron Cox, was lost to suicide in August of 2018. Since that tragic day, the Trouts have learned that struggles with suicide and mental health are far too common amongst all communities. They have dedicated themselves to spreading awareness by partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to help the many Americans who may feel alone in their struggles. The stigmas attached to mental health may cause many of these people to suffer in silence, which can be debilitating and even deadly. From participating in "Out of the Darkness" walks hosted by the New Jersey chapter of AFSP, and most recently a suicide awareness event and walk at Weatherford College in Texas, the Trout's continue to fan the flame of advocacy and awareness in the hopes that other families won't have to experience the pain of losing a loved one in this way.
In 2020, Mike and Jess collaborated with custom sports apparel brand, Tiny Turnip, to create a special piece of artwork with founder and artist, Rachel Luzi, and her business partner, Jalynne Crawford. The main focus of the artwork was the semicolon symbolizing a punctuation mark in literature where the author could have ended a sentence, but decided to continue the sentence instead. The design is meant to empower those who are struggling to know it's okay not to be okay, to seek help and to know that their "game isn't over yet!"
After the 2020 “Your game isn’t over yet;” launch, the Trouts discovered that their collaboration sparked great conversations around the topic of suicide and mental health. From strangers approaching them to share their story, often for the very first time, to teammates, coaches, friends, and so many others eager to talk about their own struggles or experiences with loved ones surrounding the topic. It was eye-opening, and they realized that they needed to continue to spark the conversation around suicide and mental health, which is often avoided due to the stigma surrounding them.
So with that, this year we decided to re-launch the collaboration with new, updated artwork to continue to raise awareness & spark the conversation around suicide and mental health issues. We added the "home plate" around the original artwork and filled it with the names of relationships to represent the people who are "missing" from our homes and hearts because of suicide. It is also a reminder to those struggling with thoughts of suicide that there are numerous resources available to them, and that people in their community and home are there to provide support and help in any way they can.
100% of profits from each “Your Game Isn't Over Yet;” product will go to the AFSP, who continues to fund scientific research, educate the public and advocate for public policies about mental health and suicide prevention.
"Tiny Turnip, AFSP, Mike & I are so excited to yet again launch this passion project of ours we've been working so hard on. Your support is appreciated more than you will ever know and we hope and pray this collaboration continues to touch the lives of even just one precious soul and alters the course of their life for the better."
You are loved, you're never alone... and your game isn't over yet;
Mike & Jess Trout