How an Ex-NFL Quarterback Is Challenging Mental Health Stigma

Therapists in Columbus, OHFormer Detroit Lions Quarterback Eric Hipple may seem like an unlikely spokesperson for men's mental health. The fourth round pick in the 1980 NFL draft enjoyed a successful career in football before retiring after the 1989 season. Hipple then went on to run a successful insurance business and host pregame shows for Fox Sports from 1995 to 2000. So how does a successful former NFL player become an expert on depression and suicide? If you need to speak with qualified mental health therapists in Columbus, OH, call Legacy Freedom for help.

On the way to Detroit Metro Airport in late 1998 to depart on a business trip, Hipple was overcome by his growing depression. He had ignored it for so long and suddenly it all came crashing down. His feelings of depression had increased in his years since leaving the NFL. A tumultuous divorce and being the father of four children had added to the stress and pressure that he felt. Grabbing a napkin out of the glove box of the car, Hibble scribbled a note to his wife as they barreled down the interstate at 70 miles an hour. He handed her the note, and before she could respond or slow the car down, he hurled himself out the door of the vehicle.

Hibble's attempt to kill himself was unsuccessful although his injuries were substantial, and he required multiple skin grafts to his face. Even after his suicide attempt, Hibble refused to seek help for his depression. He felt it would be seen as a sign of weakness. With his depression still unchecked, Hipple returned to his insurance business and to hosting pregame segments for Fox Sports. The darkest cloud of all came just two short years later when Hibble's 15 year old son, Jeff, killed himself in his father's home with a shotgun. Shaken to his core, Hibble blamed himself for missing the signs of Jeff's depression. No longer feeling like taking his own life was an option, the former NFL star turned to alcohol to deal with his grief over the loss of his son.

After being picked up for DUI and spending 58 days in jail, Eric Hipple had a moment of revelation. The grieving father realized that depression in men needed to be talked about, that some good needed to come from the loss of his son. Hipple finally saw a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan Depression Center and immersed himself in learning everything he could about suicide prevention, mental health, and depression. Now the former quarterback is speaking across the country to educate athletes, corrections officers, first responders, police, and veterans about mental health. Men commit suicide at a rate more than three times that of women in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control. Getting men to talk about their mental health and get help when they need it is the challenge that Hipple addresses daily.

Dependable Mental Health Therapists in Columbus, OH

If you, or someone you love, are struggling with depression or other mental illnesses, help is waiting for you at Legacy Freedom of Columbus. We have helped thousands of clients overcome their depression. By combining traditional talk therapy with alternative therapies, we provide a holistic approach to mental health care that is as unique as you are. Call or click today to begin your treatment with Legacy Freedom's professional mental health therapists in Columbus, OH!



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