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(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Colts and the family of a rock icon are teaming up to fight mental illness.

Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain said in interviews the vintage 1969 Fender guitar he played on the blockbuster “Nevermind” album, including in the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” was his favorite. 28 years after Cobain’s death by suicide, his family is selling the guitar and some of his other belongings at auction later this month, with some of the proceeds to go toward mental health. That brought them to “Kicking the Stigma,” the foundation created two years ago by Colts owner and guitar collector Jim Irsay.

Irsay, who had his own well-publicized battle with substance abuse, says people need to understand mental illness, whether addiction, depression, or bipolar disorder, is a fatal disease just as cancer or other diseases of the body are, and needs to be treated with the same seriousness and compassion. He says those who have come through mental illness understand too well the demons others are wrestling with, but says their success doesn’t make them better or stronger — just more fortunate.

Kicking the Stigma awarded two-point-seven-million dollars in grants its first year to address mental health treatment and awareness. This year’s round of grants will be announced in July.

Another Cobain guitar, the acoustic model he played in Nirvana’s appearance on “MTV Unplugged,” already holds the record for the highest price ever fetched for a guitar at auction, selling for six-million dollars two years ago.

While Cobain destroyed countless guitars onstage, Julien’s Auctions CEO Darren Julien, an Auburn native, says Cobain was always careful not to smash the “Nevermind” guitar — until the final time he played it, when he shattered it at the end of a Nirvana tour in frustration at a problem he felt the sound crew had failed to address. Julien says Cobain’s guitar technician pieced it back together. For the last 12 years, the guitar has been on display at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture.

Irsay has at times held the auction record, with purchases of guitars owned by the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. He’s already announced he’ll put in a two-million-dollar bid for the Cobain guitar.