Former College & NFL Star QB, Behavioral Health Advocate
Ryan David Leaf is an advocate for those struggling with mental and behavioral health issues and encourages audiences to transform the way we think about mental health issues and addiction. Ryan works to eliminate the mental health stigma and says, “asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.” The strong presence Ryan holds in a room is not just due to his 6-foot-6 frame, but the impassioned commitment he has made to serve those who are struggling. Read More >
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This program format has been designed for school assemblies and community groups, with the focus of relating Ryan’s story to school-aged audiences nationwide. Following a DVD highlighting Ryan’s Football career and journey to sobriety, Ryan will touch on such topics as the stress and pressures of being a high functioning teenager and the expectations that living up those mean. Additionally Ryan will discuss drunk driving, gateway drugs, peer pressure, bullying and cutting. To conclude the event, Ryan will field questions from the audience.
In this very personal presentation, Ryan will share his story in a brutally honest format with just a microphone. The event will start with a four-minute DVD introducing Ryan Leaf and showing highlights of his Football career and his dream to be a professional athlete, which began to unravel as a result of making a few bad decisions. From growing up in Great Falls, MT to playing Division 1 football and being the 2nd overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft while all along being compared to Peyton Manning, he will take the audience on his journey from addiction to sobriety. Additionally, he will relate his story to the audience addressing themes of gateway drugs, prescription drug abuse, drinking and driving as well as self-harm. To conclude the event, Ryan will field questions from the audience.
"Ryan Leaf gave a heartfelt presentation to the entire student body. His personal story of addiction, recovery and finding a path to help others was refreshing and encouraging. The students were thoroughly engaged as he shared his life story. Ryan spoke frankly about his challenges and expressed vulnerability as he broke stereotypes of the "traditional" male athlete."
"Ryan Leaf’s powerful message of recovery from addiction has already made an impact in the lives of our alumni, current clients, and community members. He has the audiences’ complete attention during his talks. When he pauses, you can hear a pin drop. When he finishes, many individuals relate to Ryan’s stories of pain, hope, and perseverance that can be heartbreaking. His story and his incredible journey through his recovery is gut-wrenching, but he is a positive role model to all those who cross his path."
"We have received abundant amounts of praise regarding the impact Ryan had on the hearts of audience members. His message and ability to reach those in recovery, as well as those who are not, is unmeasurable. I would highly recommend Ryan Leaf for any program dealing with recovery, or those facing adversity. He is a forceful and dynamic speaker, and truly an inspiration to all those who hear his persevering message."