‘Feel it all’: Local man Drew Petersen aims to break the stigma around mental health with new film premiering at Summit

Drew Petersen/Courtesy photo
Drew Petersen, front, hikes across the Sawatch Range near Leadville in search of a ski line. Drew Petersen’s upcoming film “Feel It All” will premiere at Summit High School on Wednesday, May 29th.
Drew Petersen/Courtesy photo

A few years ago, Summit County resident Drew Petersen was struggling deeply with his mental health. Dealing with suicidal thoughts that would constantly echo in his head, Petersen looked for a goal to connect with that would get him through what he was facing and go the next day.

Petersen, who grew up in Summit County with a deep love of the outdoors, set a goal to run 100 miles with the idea that if he could fight through the mental health struggles he was facing, then he could finish any athletic achievement.

With that in mind, Petersen who is a professional skier sponsored by Salomon began training for the 2022 Leadville Trail 100. While logging base miles before the race, Petersen also skied lines through the peaks surrounding Leadville, getting to know the Sawatch Mountain Range before running the challenging course.



In an emotional and physical journey, Petersen successfully completed the 100-mile race in August 2022. Petersen ran across the finish line at the historic corner of 6th Street and Harrison Avenue in a time of 24 hours, 32 minutes and 3 seconds to place the 67th. overall and 11th in his division.

Beyond helping him overcome his mental health struggles, the months leading up to that moment and the race itself also serve as the subject of Petersen’s newest film, “Feel It All,” which will premiere at Summit High School on Wednesday, May. 29.



As Petersen’s first film appeared in, “Ups & Downs,” the new ski and run film aims to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide, especially in mountain town communities like Summit County.


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“I knew very early on in my journey that I wanted to talk about mental health and suicide and use my story to help others,” Petersen said. “At the beginning of the pandemic, I was back here in Summit when, in the span of 16 days, two Summit High School students died by suicide and two others attempted and survived. I saw myself in those children and saw what could so easily have been my outcome. I knew I had to go to a place where I could help them.”

Since “Ups and Downs” came out, Petersen has been on a mission to start a cultural wave that is open to talking about mental health and suicide prevention. After traveling across the US speaking about his cause, Petersen worked alongside fellow Colorado-based creator Jesse Levine and Tyler Boyd and began working tirelessly on the vision of “Feel It All”.

“After two years of working on this film, I’m over the moon to share it with the world,” said Petersen. “The whole mission of this film is to help people and influence the culture around mental health and suicide.”

The film also delves deep into Petersen’s evolution over the years. From an adventurous young kid growing up in Summit County to his first suicidal thoughts at age 9, the film takes viewers on a journey as Petersen documents the challenges he’s faced in each new chapter of his life. his.

Drew Petersen/Courtesy photo
A still image from Drew Petersen’s upcoming film “Feel It All,” which will premiere at Summit High School on Wednesday, May 29.
Drew Petersen/Courtesy photo

Although Petersen has been a part of numerous mental health forums or movie premieres over the better part of the past three years, he feels he hasn’t been able to make the same impact within his Summit County community.

“Bringing that purpose and passion home is what I’m most excited about,” Petersen said. “On a really broad level, I have this deep fire in my soul that I know I can help a lot of people. I can save many lives, and I do save many lives. Knowing that I have it inside of me gives me this obsession and drive and passion that I have to do this.”

Petersen hopes to be the role model he would have looked up to as a young skier dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts.

“I idolized pro skiers,” Petersen said. “There was a real lack of role models, especially male role models who displayed mental intelligence and masculine vulnerability. When I was a kid, if I had heard a professional skier talk about mental health or suicide, my whole life would have been different. It probably would have saved me two decades of pain.”

Now a professional skier himself and in a position to make inspirational films, Petersen has taken it upon himself to be that role model for people in mountain communities to look up to and find solace.

“I have the privilege and the responsibility to be that for other people, especially children,” Petersen said. “It’s a lot to bear, but it’s an honor and an opportunity. It is not a burden. Knowing the difference is very important. I believe that to the core.”

Drew Petersen/Courtesy photo
Summit County’s Drew Petersen runs through a trail while filming his upcoming movie, “Feel It All.” The skiing and running film works to break the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide.
Drew Petersen/Courtesy photo

With the help of crowdfundingArapahoe Basin Ski Area, Building Hope Summit County and Summit High School, “Feel It All” will premiere for free at Summit High School on Wednesday, May 29.

The film screening is open to all ages and will also feature a keynote address hosted by Petersen that will focus on connecting his story to the story of many who live in Summit County. Doors to the film screening will open at 6pm with the show starting at 7pm

After the premiere in Summit County, Petersen, who has self-funded the project for the past two years, is hoping for enough donations on his Kickstarter. campaign to bring the film to more mountain communities across the US

“The goal is to reach that far and wide,” Petersen said. “Movement no. 1 is to take what we’re starting in Summit County and take it to mountain communities across the US. We have a show in Crested Butte on May 31st and then we will try to use this model throughout the West. “

To RSVP for Wednesday’s “Feel it All” show, visit EventBrite.com. For more information on “Feel It All” visit Drew-Petersen.com.


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