Irsay family announces Mental Health Awareness Month plans

Plans include proceeds from auctioned historic guitar from Kurt Cobain
Posted at 8:02 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 14:04:19-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A one-of-a-kind piece of music history will soon be up for auction.

The Jim Irsay family and the Indianapolis Colts kicked off Mental Health Awareness Month by teaming up with Julien’s Auctions to gain proceeds from the auction off Kurt Cobain’s guitar from the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" music video.

The guitar will be part of the Music Icons auction May 20-22 in New York.

According to the Irsay family, a portion of the proceeds from the guitar will go to Kicking The Stigma, the Colts' 'Kicking the Stimga' program thanks to the Cobain family.

Kicking The Stigma was launched in 2020 by the Irsay family as a way to expand research, treatment and awareness for mental health. It offers Indiana organizations to "request necessary funding for projects and programs focusing on education, support and advocacy of mental health and mental illness," according to the Colts' website.

Cobain died by suicide on April 5, 1994.

“Through our work with Kicking The Stigma, we’ve learned that the gaps in mental health treatment and resources throughout our community and others are significant and challenging,” Jim Irsay, Colts Owner & CEO said. “But the good news is we’ve met so many people who are fully engaged in this effort and are stepping up to help make a difference within their organizations, neighborhoods and communities.”

The auction is just one way the Colts organization and Irsay family plan to observe Mental Health Awareness Month.

Beginning today, May 9, the organization began accepting applications for Kicking The Stigma Action Grants, which support nonprofits and organizations in Indiana. In 2021, the Colts awarded $2.7 million to 16 organizations providing mental health treatment services.