Former Lions QB addresses mental health to parents, students - WNEM TV 5

Former Lions QB addresses mental health to parents, students

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A former Detroit athlete was in Mid-Michigan on Tuesday, spreading his strong message on the importance of mental health.

Eric Hipple, once known for his skills on the grid-iron is sharing his emotional story of loss and personal growth.

“We can present mental fitness and try to keep people healthy before things go wrong,” Hipple said.

The former Lions Quarterback is no stranger to mental health and understanding depression.

“I’ve gone through stuff myself and I lost a son. So, from that point 15 years ago today, actually, it’s 18 years ago now. Wow, I’ve learned a lot,” Hipple said.

Hipple shared that knowledge with parents at Grand Blanc High School. He shared signs to watch out for, which he knows firsthand.

Hipple went through a dark period in his life. He attempted suicide and his 15-year-old son committed it in 2000. The personal story hit home for the audience.

“When he talks we know he has a personal connection. He’s not just saying this is the way things should happen. He knows what has happened because he’s lived through it,” said Allyson Walroth, student at Grand Blanc High School.

“I think it was really positive, uplifting and really kind of raw too. He shared a lot of personal stuff that had to be hard to go through, but he did and came out on the other side better,” said Debi Phillips, parent.

Some of the warning signs to watch out for are sleep problems, change in appetite and a loss of zest for life.

Hipple said when it comes to talking to your kids about their problems, honestly, openly and non-judgmentally is key.

Parents said his speech was eye-opening.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been in school and I’ve kind of forgotten what some of the challenges are. And the better I understand that and we as parents understand that, the better we can help our daughter cope with the challenges she’s going through,” said Dave Simon, parent.

Hipple said if you think somebody needs help, try to talk to them and seek out that help they need.

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