Community Parent Inc. (CPI) has a powerful new ally in its battle against bullying and teen drug use.
Former Lions quarterback and mental health advocate Eric Hipple, of Fenton, spoke to nearly 100 students from Bendle High School about productive ways to deal with stress, instead of using drugs and alcohol. The students were bussed to the meeting, held at the Fenton Township Civic Community Center on Wednesday.
"Responsibility comes at that moment in time when you realize we can make decisions for our lives," Hipple said. "When it comes to support, don't be afraid to help others and don't be afraid to ask for help."
Hipple became an activist for mental health after his son committed suicide in 2000. Hipple is currently the outreach coordinator of the Depression Center of the University of Michigan, speaking frequently to raise awareness on mental health.
Included in Hipple's message was the importance of communicating with others and maintaining a commitment to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
"It was inspirational to hear him, he showed what stress can do to people and how they can get help," said Bendle High School sophomore Joseph Warner. "He didn't focus on being a football player. He focused on mental health and how to stay healthy."
Tony Brown, a CPI coordinator, Lake Fenton parent and Fenton Township trustee, said Hipple's involvement with the organization would bring more exposure to their efforts.
"Hipple brings name recognition. He recognizes that drug use is a mental health issue," Brown said.
CPI is a Fenton Township organization that aims to curb drug use within communities and is responsible for the Chasing the Dragon presentations. The organization meets monthly at the Fenton Township hall, 12060 Mantawauka Drive. The public is welcome to attend the meetings.
Check communityparent.org for more information.