Video: Raiders’ Darren Waller determined to prevent teen suicide

Mike Dixon

Hope Means Nevada, the community-based non-profit focused on eliminating youth suicide in the state, will host the Rising Hope Festival this past Saturday, Nov. 7. The FREE, statewide virtual festival to raise awareness of how mental wellness saves lives and help those struggling with mental illness find resources and community. The impact of COVID-19 means people of all ages, including teens, may be encountering higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression—and Nevada’s teen suicide rate is already among the highest in the nation.

Rising Hope will be emceed by comedian Jeff Civillico and UNLV freshman student Valerie Almirola. It will showcase a variety of entertaining and informative programming designed to engage teens, their parents, families, counselors and anyone else who wants to learn more about how to safeguard their own mental health and that of their friends and loved ones. Topics to be addressed include anxiety and depression, bullying, sexual orientation and peer pressure.


Cynthia Germanotta, Lady Gaga’s Mother, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation
Darren Waller, tight end, Las Vegas Raiders
Jeff Civillico, comedian
Valerie Almirola, freshman, UNLV
Nevada singer-songwriter ChloA Watson
Nevada teens discussing their concerns and sharing resources

Members of the public can register to participate in the virtual festival at this link:

The event is made possible thanks to community sponsors including State of Nevada, NV Energy, Raiders Foundation, Subaru of Las Vegas, Silver Summit, Compassionate Las Vegas, Bank of America, High Tower Las Vegas, Anthem Nevada Medicaid, Zappos and the Problem Gaming Center.

Hope Means Nevada is a community-based initiative of non-profit Nevada Medical Center focused on reversing the youth suicide trend in Nevada by inspiring a culture of empathy and advocacy around mental health. Created to raise overall awareness around Nevada’s high rates of mental health and teen suicide in Nevada, Hope Means Nevada acknowledges teens may be encountering increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression due to the impact of COVID-19. For more information about Hope Means Nevada, go to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is (800) 273-8255 or Text “Home” to 741741.