Speedy Foundation to host seminar

Organization to talk about mental health issues in sports

By Adam Spencer, The Park Record

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, The Speedy Foundation and the Park City Sport and Wellness Coalition will host a seminar at Park City High School about recognizing the signs of mental health problems and the stigma of talking about suicide.

The Speedy Foundation, founded in honor of aerialist Jeret "Speedy" Peterson, a three-time Olympian who committed suicide in 2011 at age 29, aims to educate the public about mental health issues and the warning signs of suicide.

Katie Flood, the director of the board and treasurer of The Speedy Foundation, said the nonprofit organization wants to start conversations with the public about how to recognize and help people battling mental health issues in all walks of life.

"Our main mission as a foundation is to hopefully end the stigma of talking about suicide and raise funds to support the suicide hotlines in Utah and Idaho," she said. "We look for opportunities to get more education out there. The more we talk about stuff like depression, the more everyone is aware. The more everybody talks, the more people will listen."

The seminar will feature Sam Walsh, the PCHS guidance counselor, who will talk about a recent "Smile, You are Beautiful" campaign and the impacts it had on the community, as well as Dr. Melinda Roalstad of Think Head First speaking on the importance of concussion education and prevention.

Flood said it's important to understand sports-related concussions and the impact we now know they can have on mental health.