OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Suicide survivor talks about the road to recovery

10/06/2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Suicide survivor Jordan Burnham is coming to the Oregon State University campus to talk to students about his battle with depression and his journey toward mental and physical wellness.

Burnham will speak from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14 in LaSells Stewart Center. His talk is open to the public, and students are especially encouraged to attend. His talk is sponsored by the OSU campus group Active Minds, which promotes mental wellness and encourages the reduction of stigma surrounding mental health issues.

“This message is extremely important to college-aged students, because it is very common for students to be stressed, become depressed or have thoughts of suicide,” said Katie Hanna, Active Minds OSU Chapter President. “What Active Minds tries to do is help students learn the signs of suicide or mental illness, provide the tools and resources to get help and connect with on-campus counseling centers. It is important to know that help is available and there is no need to be ashamed or afraid to seek that help.”

Burnham was a popular high school senior, a star athlete with good grades who seemed to have everything going from him, but his interior world was far different. Burnham was struggling with depression and eventually attempted suicide. But when he managed to survive the attempt, he turned his efforts into dealing with his depression and learning coping mechanisms. Now he educates other students about ways to face depression and come out on top.

Burnham has been featured in major Philadelphia print and broadcast news, appeared on CNN, Dr. Phil, and addressed a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. He has been featured in three documentaries, including one titled No, Kidding Me Too!  which was directed by Emmy winning actor Joey Pantoliano. Burnham is a Pittsburgh native and now studying communications at Montgomery County Community College in Philadelphia.