Jordan Burnham's Presentation on Mental Health and Suicide Essay

Submitted By monyp92
Words: 659
Pages: 3

Monica Pascoa
Colloquia #1: Jordan Burnham

On September 25, 2013, Jordan Burnham, member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau, gave a moving and empowering presentation discussing the sensitive topics of mental health and suicide. Jordan survived an attempt to take his life during is senior year of high school. Since that tragic event, Jordan’s outlook on life changed drastically and he has since devoted his life to being a mental health advocate by travelling to high schools and colleges around the country in order to raise awareness about mental health disorders. Jordan’s goal is to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health disorders, to encourage students experiencing depression and other mental health disorders to seek help, and to prevent young adults from attempting or committing suicide. During his late middle school and early high school years, Jordan experienced a number of changes in his life that he had difficulty coping with; he often experienced negative thoughts and feelings as a result of these feelings. Jordan felt that he could not be open with how he was feeling and chose to hide what he was experiencing from others. In attempt to cope with what he was experiencing internally, Jordan began to engage in bad habits; he began drinking heavily and neglected his academics. At the age of 16, following an unusual emotional outburst, Jordan’s parents sent him to see a therapist who diagnosed him with depression. However, Jordan did not take the diagnosis seriously and did not follow the recommended steps in order to recover and improve his mental health. Jordan’s depression became progressively worse and he began experiencing suicidal thoughts. During his junior year of high school, Jordan was sent to a mental hospital after he expressed to his girlfriend that he wondered what her life and the lives of his family members and friends would be without him if he took pills to kill himself. Although at first he believed that his problems were not serious enough for him to belong in a mental hospital, Jordan realized later that the development of mental disorders are not dependent on the severity of one’s problems, but how the problems are perceived. Jordan was able to successfully deal with his problems within the confines of the hospital, however when he returned home and began going to school again, he experienced the same stressors that triggered his depression and he began once again engaging in risky behaviors. Jordan reached the breaking point during his senior year; he was again experiencing…