2021 – Ryan Leaf – Richmond

2021 – Ryan Leaf – Richmond

Meridian Health Services 2021 Speaker Series
Richmond – featuring Ryan Leaf

Ryan Leaf—The Struggle with Addiction and Mental Illness

For most, sharing the darker moments of one’s life isn’t easy. Imagine being a top athlete known globally and falling from that spot into a nightmare of addiction, arrest, and months of incarceration. From being celebrated and making millions, gracing covers of magazines and newspapers to having nothing and being booed. Former NFL player Ryan Leaf shared his story with brutal honesty to a full-capacity audience at the Holiday Inn in Richmond on Thursday, October 21 as part of Meridian’s Community Health Speaker Series.

Leaf, selected as the second overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft after Peyton Manning, had a career full of expectations he didn’t live up to. That failure, coupled with his inability to live life on life’s terms, led to drug addiction and landed him in a prison cell—both physically and emotionally.

Leaf has since become a symbol of peace and inspiration for those who struggle with substance use and mental illness.

Following Leaf’s presentation, a discussion panel comprised of community leaders and officials followed and engaged the audience discussing issues related to substance use, recovery, and ideas for local solutions.

A complimentary lunch was provided by Meridian Health Services.
COVID protocols, precautions, and social distancing were implemented as determined by state and local mandates.

If you or someone you know is suffering from substance use or addiction, Meridian can help turn things around and provide a fresh start. Call 866-306-2647 to begin the journey to a new way of living.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Thank you to our Moderator and Panelists for participating in this event:


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Darrin DolehantyJudge, Superior Court III, Wayne County
Christine StinsonExecutive Director, Wayne County Health Department
Megan HuffmeyerCERT Project Manager, Choices Coordinated Care Solutions
Dave SnowMayor, City of Richmond
Brad BarrettState Representative, District 56
Douglas HuntsingerExecutive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement; Chairman of the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse
Erika Brandenstein, MDOB-GYN, Reid Hospital
Lisa Suttle, RN-BC, MSRegional VP of Clinical Services, Meridian Health Services


Event Video