At JAF, our goal is to fund programs in high schools that could’ve impacted Josh and stopped him from making the irrevocable decision to end his life. We believe that goal was accomplished this week.
JAF along with our partner, Safe Community Coalition, brought Active Minds speaker, Jordan Burnham to four high schools (McLean HS, TJ, Madison HS and Langley HS), where he shared his powerful and moving story to over 4,000 students. It is a very personal story of his struggle with depression/suicide attempt while in high school, despite being a talented, popular, and athletic kid. Miraculously, he survived and now speaks to middle school, high school and college students all around the country. His message is simple – while everyone may not have a mental illness, everyone has mental health and it’s time to open up and start conversations about this topic so no one has to struggle alone and be afraid to seek help. This is exactly the story that we wish Josh would’ve heard.
There was an overwhelmingly positive response to his presentation as evidenced by a small sampling of tweets:
Learned a lot from your speech today! Thank you for making people not feel so alone. Keep it up you’re inspiring!
Your story at school today made me realize things about my life I otherwise might not have been made aware of at all. Thank you.
Thank you for speaking today,truly inspirational! You’ve not only taught me to live with depression, but enjoy life even with it.
Thank you so much for speaking today at Mclean High School! You were so inspirational and made me realize I’m not alone!
Jordan also spoke to a well-attented evening session for parents that included a very good Q&A. Here are some of their comments:
Excellent, informative, empowering presentation. It is so great that you are spreading your message. Thank you.
Excellent program. Awareness is important.
Great speaker since the high school students could relate to him. My 17 year old son said he really enjoyed it.
Jordan is very relatable. I wonder if an even more in-depth program would benefit our youth and parents as follow up. I appreciate the discussion of mental health – very important. The Q&A portion was very helpful. Jordan fielded questions with such honesty and integrity. What a beautiful human being.
See YouTube video of the presentation to parents.
See Peggy Fox’s Channel 9 news report and interview with Lauren.
See article in TJ’s online school newspaper. Follow up article about free yoga classes available during the week.