Local football coach keeps memory of son alive while teaching about mental illness

MANISTIQUE — Ishpeming High School’s Head Football Coach Jeff Olson visited Manistique Middle and High School on Monday to help students understand mental illness.

Olson showed the students a documentary called “Do It For Daniel,” which is about his son Daniel’s struggle with anxiety, depression and suicide. Although Daniel looked like he had a great life on the outside, on the inside, he battled mental illness most of his life. In July of 2012, Daniel committed suicide.

Olson said presenting on the topic gives him a way to grieve and keep memories of Daniel alive.

“One of the things he would say is that no matter what he said or no matter what he did, people aren’t going to understand,” he said. “So, that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to speak for him, we’re trying to get people to understand, give people hope that are suffering because that’s all he wanted.”

Olson will be presenting to students at Escanaba High School on January 23rd and to students at Munising High School and Superior Central High School on January 24th.

There will also be two community showings of “Do It For Daniel” in Manistique on Monday at 7:00 p.m. at Manistique Middle and High School and in Munising on January 24th at 6:00 p.m. at Mather Elementary School.

For more information, visit the Do It For Daniel Facebook page or email Olson directly at jsolson@charter.net.