HOBART | Preventing suicide among teenagers and young adults is the special focus of the fourth annual Northwest Indiana Mental Health Awareness Luncheon & Awards Celebration, set for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 20, at Avalon Manor, 3550 E. U.S. 30.
The theme is "It Takes a Community to Save a Life," and the featured speaker is Jordan Burnham, who, as a high school senior, attempted to take his own life by jumping from his 9th story bedroom window.
Miraculously, he survived devastating injuries and today travels around the U.S. sharing a message of encouragement to young people dealing with difficult issues and empowering others to change the conversation about mental health and teen suicide as a way to save lives.
Now studying communications at Montgomery County Community College in Philadelphia, Burnham had everything to live for. He was popular, had good grades, and was a star athlete, but secretly battled depression.
Today, Burnham's body is still recovering, but he has found emotional wellness through counseling and a strong support system. His program educates students about depression, suicide, and coping mechanisms. Jordan has appeared on CNN, ESPN and Dr. Phil, and addressed a U.S. Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill.
Reservations are $35 per person and $250 for a table of eight. Contact Renae Vania-Tomczak at (219) 885-4264, ext. 2604 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday for reservations.
The event also includes the Most Valuable Voices award presentation.
The Mental Health Advocate of the Year award will be presented to Mark Spencer of MAS Media 7 and Westside Theater Guild. Spencer has developed a series of short films related to mental health issues and is currently producing a film that focuses on teen suicide.
The event is hosted by Ambassadors for Edgewater, a volunteer group of supporters dedicated to advancing the mission of Edgewater Systems, a community mental health center serving the needs of residents from throughout Lake and Porter counties.