Ethan Fisher confirmed as speaker for May 22 Mental Health Awareness Walk


By John Finefrock

Rise Above Violence

Mental health advocate Ethan Fisher has been confirmed as the guest speaker for the Mental Health Awareness Walk on Saturday, May 22. This is a free community event.

“Ethan Fisher’s message of love, forgiveness, responsibility and second chances is a message that every high school and college-age student should hear. Ethan has changed my life. And he will change yours if you hear his story,” wrote author Tommy Spaulding.

Fisher’s life experiences became a catalyst for his devotion to inspiring others. He grew up in a family that did not speak openly about mental health and he spent his teenage years secretly battling clinical depression.

He began to self-medicate, leading to a years-long battle with alcoholism and substance abuse that ultimately derailed his successful basketball career and ended in a three-year prison sentence. Fisher has been sober since 2004 and was the first athlete in Colorado to play college basketball on “inmate status” during his sentence, where he earned all-conference and Most Valuable Player awards.

The Mental Health Awareness Walk will be held on Saturday, May 22. The first 50 people to register will receive a free event T-shirt. You can register for the walk by sending an email to, or by calling or texting (970) 403-5461. 

Day-of registration will begin at 9 a.m. at Town Park. The walk will start at 10 a.m.

We’ll walk from Town Park up main street, by the courthouse building, back to Hot Springs Boulevard and end at Yamaguchi Park, where booths about mental health resources will be set up and Fisher will present around 11 a.m. Folks who have preregistered for the event can pick up their T-shirts prior to the walk from 9 to 10 a.m. at Town Park.

Rise Above Violence is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault or other forms of violence. Visit for more information or call (970) 264-9075 to talk to an advocate today.