2021 Keynote Speaker
2021 Keynote Speaker
Eric Hipple is a former National Football League (NFL) quarterback whose ten-year career was spent with the Detroit Lions. Hipple’s accomplishments include two playoff bids, a divisional championship, and the Detroit Lions’ most valuable player award for the ’81 season. He is currently ranked fifth in career passing yards for Detroit. From 1995-2000 Hipple was color analyst for the FOX NFL pre-game show in Detroit. Since his 15-year-old son Jeff’s suicide, Hipple has devoted his life to building awareness and breaking down the stigma surrounding depressive illnesses.
Hipple recently received prestigious University of Michigan 2015 Nuebacher Award for work with stigma associated with disabilities, the Detroit Lions 2010 Courage House award, he also received the prestigious 2008 Life Saver Achievement award given by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention He co-authored a study examining depression among retired football players. The study appeared in the April 2007 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
He was awarded a presidential citation at the American Psychological Association’s 2006 Annual Convention for his six years of national community-based work combating adolescent depression and suicide prevention. His message of resilience has provided mental fitness awareness to professional groups, military, law enforcement, schools, communities and through the “Under the Helmet” program, thousands of high schools and youth coaches across the country. In conjunction with NAVY’s U.S. Fleet Forces, he has provided workshops on suicide and destructive behavior prevention during the last 6 years by focusing on Mental Fitness. His book “Real Men Do Cry” received a publisher Presidential Award.
After retiring from University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, where he spent the last eleven years in outreach. He was also an Outreach Specialist for Eisenhower Center’s “After the Impact” program, a nuero-behavioral residential treatment facility serving military veterans and former NFL players.
Eric’s commitment to helping others find a quality in life is demonstrated through work with Living Life On The Offense LLC and a school based education program sponsored by MIRA (Mental Illness Research Association).