Eric Hipple

Eric Hipple Discusses Suicide Prevention

As a behavioral health advocate, former Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple has been working to break down the stigma around depression and suicide. He understands the devastating impact of depression. He struggled with the condition most of his life until the death of his 15-year-old son by suicide in 2000 led him to seek treatment.  

Over the past decade, he has become an advocate for mental fitness. In his book, “Real Men Do Cry: A Quarterback’s Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression and Surviving Suicide Loss,” he talks about the toll his undiagnosed depression took on his life.  

“One in four people in this country will suffer from some sort of brain illness or mental illness in their lifetimes. That’s something important to note because, if it isn’t you, it’s someone you know. That means we should learn what these things are,” Hipple said.  

The symptoms around depression include:

  • Sleep problems 
  • Loss of pleasure 
  • Appetite (too much or too little) 
  • Loss of concentration 
  • Irritability and anger 
  • Anxiety or pain 
  • Sadness 
  • Hopelessness 

The behaviors around depression include:

  • Alcohol or substance use 
  • Risky behaviors 
  • Acting out 
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions 

Warning signs of a risk for suicide attempt include:

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves 
  • Talking about feeling empty or hopeless or having no reason to live 
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions 
  • Feeling unbearable emotional or physical pain 
  • Talking about being a burden to others 
  • Withdrawing from family and friends 
  • Giving away important possessions 
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family 
  • Putting affairs in order, such as making a will 
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast 
  • Talking or thinking about death often 

 Resources for help:

  • Employee Assistance Program: check at your workplace 

Learn more about suicide prevention and how to help those suffering from depression in this Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll find past sessions and resources. 

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