By Kate Jacobson
Source Chicago Tribune
Students in Libertyville are reaching out and raising awareness about an issue plaguing many teenagers – depression.
As part of National Depression Awareness Month in October, a student club at Libertyville High School is bringing in speakers and helping other students connect with resources to talk about depression and other mental health issues.
Libertyville High School’s chapter of Erika’s Lighthouse, a local organization aimed at helping teens who have depression and other mental health disorders, kicked off Depression Awareness Month by inviting motivational speaker and activist Jordan Burnham to address students.
Burnham, 24, attempted suicide when he was a senior in high school.
He survived a nine-story fall from his apartment building in suburban Philadelphia and since his recovery has dedicated his life to public speaking and mental health advocacy.
Students listened for more than an hour as Burnham recalled his struggle since middle school with depression and his suicide attempt, which came after an argument with his parents.
His story, while somber, was sprinkled with pop culture references and jokes – something that made him extremely relatable to his teen audience, said Libertyville senior McKenna Shanholtzer.
Shanholtzer, who is president of the school’s Erika’s Lighthouse chapter, said Burnham’s unique style was something that prompted the club to reach out to him.
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