Daily Sports Smile: Hayden Hurst Family Foundation donates $10,000 to mental health program in Atlanta schools

Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst (81) runs after a reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter of an NFL Football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth) ORG XMIT: OTKMA332
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports Plus

Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst is making a difference in the local community. This month, Hurst donated $10,000 through his family foundation to the Summit Counseling Center in Atlanta. The funds will go towards a mental health partnership with the Fulton County School system.

The partnership helps provide students better access to therapy. It will also alleviate barriers and allow students to utilize the school-based program. Several Fulton County schools have on-site mental health partners to meet students needs.

Hurst has been open about mental health in his career.  His story included struggling with depression after minor league baseball career. He got a chance to pursue football and he starred collegiately at South Carolina.

Hurst mentioned that therapy helped him on his journey. He is now a key playmaker for the Falcons this season.

His foundation aims to break the stigma around mental health through fundraising and donations. In February, Hurst was named the 2021 Alan Page Community Award Winner by the NFL Players Association.

The award recognizes one player that demonstrates profound dedication to positively impacting his team’s city and community.

“It is truly an honor to receive the 2021 Alan Page Community Award,” Hurst said after winning the award in February. “I cannot begin to explain how much this means to me, my family, and to all the people that we will now be able to help through the use of these funds.”

Hurst has 13 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown this season.