The Irsay family kicks off mental health awareness month

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — May is Mental Health Awareness month and another opportunity for the Irsay family to continue their efforts in kicking the stigma associated with mental illness.

“We want to reach as many people as we can and save lives, but we are warriors against it because like we always say with stigma, you know, you’re not alone. We’re right here. We want to do everything we can,” said Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay.

In collaboration with Julien’s Auctions, Kurt Cobain’s family will auction off the iconic guitar used in Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video.  The Cobain family then plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Kicking the Stigma initiative.

Jim Irsay is thrilled to use his love of Rock N’ Roll to reach another massive audience outside of the professional sports scene.

“This guitar is big and it relates so much to the stigma. Because you know, when you have a mental illness, people die. There are people right now all over the world who are living in darkness.  These are fatal diseases,” Irsay said.

Kalen Jackson, Colts vice chair and owner, said, “We’re not stopping anytime soon and that’s why this was such a nice pairing to with Mental Health Awareness Month in the work that we’re doing you know, we’re really using this month as a good foundation that can spring more this into you know, the right direction.”

The auction will take place from May 20-22 in New York.  Jim Irsay already started the bidding at $2 million for the Fender Mustang electric guitar.

Closer to home, the Irsay’s have also kicked off the second round of their Kicking the Stigma Action Grants, which support nonprofits and organizations that provide mental health treatment services or raise awareness about mental illness. Grant applications are currently available now through June 3, 2022.

For more information, visit

The Colts organization will also take part in their second Mental Health Action Day on May 19, where they will take part in a service project with Find Your Anchor, a nonprofit that works in suicide prevention, awareness, and education.