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The 49ers’ Solomon Thomas is familiar with the toll of mental health issues; his sister committed suicide and he subsequently battled depression. (Photo: Joe Nicholson / USA TODAY Sports)

Losing one more person to suicide is unacceptable. But how do we start making changes?

More than 17 million adults in the United States have endured at least one major depressive episode in the last year, according to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

And more than 17.1 million kids in the U.S. have a psychiatric disorder, according to Rogers Behavior Health.

Instead of setting these statistics off to the side as a topic that’s separate from life and separate from sports news – until a tragedy happens – let’s start talking about what those numbers mean.

For a lot of people – including athletes – mental health equates to shame, humiliation and vulnerability, when really it could be an