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Nina and Ryan Day give $1 million to establish mental health fund at Ohio State

The Nina and Ryan Day Resilience Fund will be housed in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day and his wife, Nina, are making a $1 million donation to the university to fund research and service that promote mental health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine.

According to a press release, The Nina and Ryan Day Resilience Fund will be housed in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

Nina and Ryan have been advocates about mental health since coming to Columbus. Ryan’s father died of suicide when he was 8 years old.

The couple both spoke of their own mental health struggles at the university’s pandemic-delayed commencement in August 2021 and urged graduates to find friends and loved ones who could bolster them in difficult times.

Mental health is also key for student-athletes in Ryan’s football program, which has two full-time psychologists, two athletic counselors and a part-time psychiatrist on staff.

“Nina and I both understand how important it is to have someone you can turn to for help and strength in times of difficulty,” Ryan Day said. “Our hope is that this fund will allow more Buckeyes to find the support they need to become more resilient.”

Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson thanked Nina and Ryan for their leadership and their generous gift.

“It will help us not only provide greater services and outreach, but to continue the fight against the stigma that too often discourages people in need from seeking help,” Johnson said.

Dr. K. Luan Phan, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, thanked the Days for “helping to dismantle the stigma of mental health challenges.”

 “With the support of champions like Nina and Ryan, we are quickly gaining ground and shifting the paradigm toward a positive outlook against adversity that includes hope, perseverance, courage and growth” he said. “We hope their generous gift will inspire others to support this worthy cause.”

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