I attended the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Conference last week and had to share about this great keynote speaker Eric Hipple. He is phenomenal! His talk has been speaking to me ever since I heard it. You know when something so profound just stays with you, like a song you can’t get out of your head. So, this is what he shared about in his presentation…

Transitions in life can mean many things. Whether it’s change of environment, change of status or change in relationships, they can threaten our mental health. Eric tells his story of success, transition, loss, mental illness and eventually recovery and outreach.  Learning to change core beliefs and defeating stigma around treatment, Eric relies on the tools of mental fitness for living life in a changing world.

Eric Hipple is a former National Football League (NFL) quarterback whose ten-year career was spent with the Detroit Lions. Born in Texas and raised in southern California, he graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Business Administration

Since his 15-year-old son Jeff’s suicide, Hipple has devoted his life to building awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness. Hipple recently received the University of Michigan 2015 Neubacher Award for his work with the stigma around disabilities and has received the Detroit Lions 2010 Courage House Award, the 2008 Life Saver Achievement Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and is a recipient of Detroit One Heart Award from the Detroit Has Heart Foundation (2020).

He co-authored a study examining depression among retired football players, which appeared in the April 2007 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. In addition, Eric was awarded a presidential citation at the American Psychological Association 2006 Annual Convention for his six years of national work combating adolescent depression and suicide prevention.

Eric’s message of resilience has taught awareness to professional, military, and law enforcement groups, as well as schools and youth communities. Through the Under the Helmet program, his message has reached thousands of high schools and youth coaches across the country. In conjunction with Navy’s U.S. Fleet Forces and PAC Fleet, Eric has provided workshops on suicide and destructive behavior prevention throughout the last 12 years. His book Real Men Do Cry, which chronicles his life of football, tragedy, and return to triumph, received a Publisher Presidential Award. To learn more visit his website at http://www.erichipplespeaks.com/ .