Surviving and Thriving: A Quarterback’s Take on Managing Mental Health
Eric Hipple is a former (NFL) quarterback who spent his ten-year career with the Detroit Lions. Prior to his years in the NFL, Eric played here at Utah State where he threw 6,073 yards, and scored 34 touchdowns. Hipple’s NFL accomplishments include two playoff bids, a divisional championship, and the Detroit Lions MVP award for the ’81 season. From 1995-2000 Hipple was the color analyst for the FOX NFL pregame show in Detroit.
Since his 15-year-old son Jeff’s suicide in 2000, Eric has devoted his life to building awareness and breaking down the stigma surrounding depressive illnesses. He has received many prestigious awards for his work, including the University of Michigan Neubacher Award for work with stigma associated with disabilities, the Detroit Lions Courage House award, the Life Saver Achievement award as well as a Presidential Citation at the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention for his many years of community-based work combating adolescent depression and suicide prevention.
Eric’s message of resilience has provided mental fitness awareness to professional groups, the military, law enforcement, schools, communities, and through the “Under the Helmet” program, thousands of high schools and youth coaches nationwide. His book Real Men Do Cry received a Presidential Award. After spending eleven years as a liaison in outreach to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, he currently speaks around the world to audiences about his journey.