Speedy Foundation to host seminar | ParkRecord.com

Speedy Foundation to host seminar

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.

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"[Roalstad]’s going to talk about the severity of what they can do," she said. "We’re trying not to entirely relate it to depression and suicide, but we all understand the importance of it."

Flood said she hopes to see a big community turnout for the seminar. She believes it is an important step in the ongoing battle against suicide, which she said affects everyone, but is especially hard for high-school aged students.

"Really, it impacts every student, whether they know the person or not," she said.

The seminar, which is free to the public, will be held at the PCHS auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 6-8 p.m.