Inside the Story: Organization uses skateboarding to fight depression, anxiety

Inside the Story: Organization uses skateboarding to fight depression, anxiety (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) A group of skateboarders is using the sport for more than just thrill-seeking.

It has also become a way to heal their souls.

"There is just a certain feeling when you're on a board," said Beau Durrant.

It wasn't long ago that Durrant was sent home from his LDS mission in the Philippines for depression and suicidal thoughts.

"You kind of feel like you failed," he said. "I didn't know anyone who had come home for mental illness. I was the first I knew of."

Durrant eventually got back to skateboarding, a sport he had been doing since he was seven years old.

It gave him a new hope.

"It's just therapy to be learning and improving," he said.

That's when Durrant and a friend who was in the same situation started "Skate to Fight," an organization that uses skating as a way to cope with mental challenges.

Other skaters eventually joined as well.

Brady Evans also battled depression and came home early from his LDS mission to Russia.

"There's nothing else in life that matters when you're going down the hill because you can't focus on anything else," Evans said.

Skate to Fight is now tackling sexual assault as part of its mission, after Durrant met renowned downhill skateboarder Candy Dungan from Colorado.

Dungan was raped when she was 18 years old. Skateboarding gave her the therapy she needed to overcome her devastating situation.

So Durrant had a documentary put together to help her get her message out.

"I just realized that so many women in the skating world have been through sexual assault," Durrant said.

But Skate to Fight is more than just about skating and healing. It's about finding something you are passionate about.

"All about having a passion, something that you care about, something that you look forward to and motivate you," Durrant said.

"Life's worth living, and finding something for you that's worth living will make all the difference," said Evans.

For more about Skate to Fight, visit its website or Facebook page.