Mental illness does not care if you were a college athlete or homecoming king. For Sean Locke, depression did not read his resume or care how much hope or potential he had in his life. Sean was apart of everyone’s team. Whether it was picking his little sister up from school or spending countless hours on the court, his light and love made him everyone’s first round draft pick. Despite his shining personality, he was not able to see out of the darkness. Sean lost his battle to depression on July 18, 2018. Just a few weeks before his 24th birthday.
We know that in order to fight darkness, we need a team of light. A team full of family, friends, and mental health specialists with a common goal to support those who are currently fighting their own darkness.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the death of rate for cancer has declined since 2000, death rate from heart disease is flat, but death by suicide has risen. Over 44,000 people will die from suicide this year in the U.S. and over 28 million people suffer from depression.
Sean’s life and death has touched many people. Sean was always willing to help others, he was always willing to be a friend to anyone. Sean was a kind, caring and loving person. In his spirit, the Locke family has begun the SL24: UnLocke the Light Foundation.
The UNLOCKE THE LIGHT movement has three objectives:
- Educate high school and college students to the signs of depression, remove the stigma of depression, and make available resources to help people with depression and the real threat of suicide.
- Assist high school and college athletes with the transition from a life of sports to a life free from depression or with the tools to manage depression. Over 30% of D1 athletes will deal with depression either in their last year of playing or the year right after playing.
- Create a safe haven where high school and college students receive professional help and speak to peers about their struggles with depression and the threat of suicide.