Former Nebraska Cornhusker Anthony Steels Announced as Mental Health Campaign Spokesperson

Omaha, NE, (September 5, 2013) -– A public awareness campaign to spread the word that mental illness is treatable has named former Nebraska Cornhusker football player Anthony Steels as its official spokesperson during the 2013/2014 athletic year.

“Don’t Be Sidelined” is a statewide campaign led by The Kim Foundation in conjunction with Husker Sports Marketing, along with other respected health and human service organizations. The campaign, which debuted in September 2012, has since been active in promoting its message surrounding mental health at major sporting events, such as during the Nebraska Cornhusker football, basketball, and baseball seasons, 2013 Cornhusker State Games, and home games of the Omaha Storm Chasers, while providing the public with information and resources.

Steels played college football under former coach Tom Osborne from 1978-1981, where he was selected by his teammates to receive the Guy Chamberlin Award for the most inspirational player. He later played in the National Football League for the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills.

As a former professional athlete who struggled with mental illness and addiction, Steels has shared his message of hope and recovery with students and youth organizations, at corporate conventions, and to other audiences. According to Steels, it was through the encouragement of Coach Osborne that he first sought help and treatment for his illness.

Today, Steels is a licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (PLADC). He earned his BS in Education from the University of Nebraska.

Through his involvement with “Don’t Be Sidelined”, Steels will participate in a number of community events and public speaking engagements associated with the campaign. He will be available to talk with the public on Saturday, September 7, 2013 from 2 - 4 p.m., prior to the home football game featuring the University of Nebraska vs. the University of Southern Mississippi. Steels and other "Don't Be Sidelined" representatives will be located in the Pavilion, to the northeast of Memorial Stadium.

A full schedule of activities is available online at

“We are pleased to welcome Anthony Steels to our team as we launch the second year of this important public awareness campaign. We know his message of hope and recovery will resonate with many across the state of Nebraska,” said Julia Hebenstreit, executive director, The Kim Foundation. “As someone who has lived with mental illness, Anthony understands first-hand the importance of taking the first and most important step, which is seeking help. We’re looking forward to him joining us for the coming months and sharing his personal story.”

The Kim Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those impacted by mental illness through advocacy, education, and support.

As 1 in 4 Americans are impacted by some form of mental illness, the campaign seeks to educate the public that mental illness is a real medical condition that does not discriminate and is more common than most people may think.

In addition to The Kim Foundation, “Don’t Be Sidelined” partners include Alegent Creighton Health, Bryan Medical Center, Blue Valley Behavioral Health, Catholic Charities, CenterPointe, Inc., the Department of Health and Human Services of Nebraska, Depression and Bipolar Support Omaha, Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Inc., National Alliance on Mental Illness – Nebraska, Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, and Together.

For more information and mental health resources, visit


The Kim Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those impacted by mental illness through advocacy, education, and support. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, The Kim Foundation strives to build a united, comprehensive response to assist children, adults, and families in achieving health, healing, and recovery. The Kim Foundation serves as a communication link between individuals, families, and organizations throughout the state of Nebraska and moves to reduce the stigma often associated with seeking mental health care. For more information about The Kim Foundation, visit


Don't Be Sidelined does not provide direct services and is not able to respond immediately to requests for information.
Visit our Finding Help page for services in your area. If you or someone you know is suicidal or in crisis, dial 911.