The Mental Health Defender Founder, President and CEO of Bend Dxnt Break

Jeff Trotter is a former two-sport college athlete who ran track and played basketball at Clayton State University outside Atlanta, GA. He has served as an employee and mentor with the Memphis Athletic Ministries. Jeff’s work includes mentoring youth at risk of dropout, incarceration, adverse childhood experiences, food deserts, and poverty. He’s also on the board for the Race for Reconciliation 5K in honor of Martin Luther King Day. 

Jeff uses his passion and love for sports to bridge the gap between mental health and movement. He founded Bend Dxnt Break, which focuses on mentorship and mental health advocacy. This past year, Jeff’s organization hosted its first mental health summit featuring former Tennessee Titans Pacman Jones, LenDale White, and Chris “CJ2K” Johnson. Over 350 participants were able to hear about mental health resources in the Memphis community and engage with professional athletes sharing their personal history of mental illness. 

In addition to his role at Bend Dxnt Break, Jeff is the Special Projects Assistant to the Office of the Senior Pastor at Hope Church. He serves as the community liaison for multiple events across the city and integrates with multiple ministries under the Hope umbrella. Some of those events have included the R4R, Race for Reconciliation, The Heal the Hood Wake Up tour, The Faith Family Festival, and the Bend Dxnt Break Mental Health Summit. Jeff is also a proud partner and advocate of the African American Male Wellness Agency. 

He’s eager to expand the next Bend Dxnt Break mental health summit, as this year’s was such a success. He has plenty of big ideas for next year, including incorporating a flag football tournament where youth can display their talents and learn practical coping skills for optimizing mental health. 

By Lucy Modzelewski 

Photo by Avery Amstutz 

Memphis Health + Fitness Magazine is proud to spotlight rising stars in the 901 fitness and wellness community in our inaugural 20 Under 40 issue. We received many amazing applications and handpicked a variety of individuals from different backgrounds and areas of expertise to showcase some of the best and brightest up-and-comers in our industry. We’re excited to present you with the honorees for the Memphis Health + Fitness 20 Under 40 Issue!