Jonathan is my youngest son. Jonathan grew up in church and accepted Christ when he was 9 years old. He attended the local Christian School and grew up playing sports-baseball, then soccer, then basketball, then football. He traded one favorite for the next. Having above average coordination and agility, he was good at all of them. Having above average intelligence, he could quote the stats for any of the professional or college teams. Jonathan had a great sense of humor, loved to laugh, and could lighten up any situation. He had a beautiful smile, a warm heart, and easy going disposition most of the time.
In 9th grade, Jonathan began experiencing increased maladaptive patterns with withdrawal from interest in school and sports, became subject to wide mood swings with manic episodes characterized by poor impulse control and judgment. Jonathan had experienced attention deficit hyperactivity disorder since second grade. Upon SPECT brain scanning (Amen clinics), it was determined that Jonathan had an overall hyperactive or ‘ring of fire’ brain with six subtypes of attention deficit disorder. Upon further evaluation, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and entered treatment with the Amen clinics.
On May 25, 2011, in the ultimate manic episode, Jonathan, 17, became part of the growing statistic of youth suicide. Youth suicide is a growing epidemic in the US, currently the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24.
Youth suicide is preventable. It requires understanding the salient features that may indicate that a mental disorder is manifesting. It requires education and frank discussions with teens, as well as, counseling on effective coping mechanisms and adaptive behaviors. It requires engagement and connection of parents, students, and education in prevention efforts.
I hold onto my eternal hope that I will see my son again. Until that time– I will do all I can, our Foundation will do all we can, to reach out to hurting teens and stop youth suicide. You can join this work. Get involved and make a difference in the life of a teen.
Thank you for your support of The Jonathan Foundation.