Quantcast

In Speedy's memory: Raising awareness of mental illness and suicide

Published January 6, 2014 1:28 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jeret Peterson's family and friends established the Speedy Foundation in honor of the Olympic silver medalist. The foundation strives to raise awareness and encourages people to discuss mental illness and suicide more openly. Idaho, Peterson's home state, has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, 49 percent higher than the national average.

The foundation raised money to establish Idaho's first suicide hotline, and Peterson's family and friends hope that's only the beginning.

"Sport has tremendous outreach," said Mike Ruzek, chair of the foundation's board. "People look up to athletes, and those athletes have a platform to reach people — Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Magic Johnson. Sports has opened doors and provided an entry point to discuss larger social issues. Well, Speedy is helping us talk about something important and the time has really come for the de-stigmatization of mental illness."

For more information, visit thespeedyfoundation.org

- - -

Mental illness by the numbers

1 in 4: Adults who suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

1 in 10: Americans who suffer from depression.

36,000: Suicides in the U.S. each year, more than the number of deaths that result from car crashes.

USER COMMENTS
Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus