What is a Role Model? Not too long ago, we decided that it wasn't enough to cast fashion models based on height and comp cards. We wanted to showcase the stories of real people, who are brave enough to wear their label. Jordon is one of those Role Models.
WYL: Tell us a bit about yourself!
JP: Hi all, my name is Jordon Profit, I was born and raised in Alberton, Prince Edward Island, currently living in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I moved to Fredericton in the fall of 2014 to pursue a college education in the child and youth care addiction support worker field. I am currently working as a Support Worker at a Residential Care Home for adult diagnosed with mental illness’, a Starbucks Barista and a Bartender. I will be attending The University Of New Brunswick in the fall to obtain a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Psychology. After graduating from my undergrad I hope to further my education to become either a Social Worker or a Mental Health Councillor.
WYL: What is your connection to mental illness?
JP: My connection to mental health happened throughout the past five or six years. I had noticed my mental heath diminishing, but all around it was manageable. Moving on in my life and coming up into the last year, my mental health has become harder and harder to manage. I would set my problems aside and ignore the early signs of mental health Issues, and always put my mental health to the back burner. I've tried to ignore it as long as I could but it wouldn't let me push it aside any longer. The pot that I've been pushing to the hypothetical back burner for all these years finally boiled over and I was a prisoner to my own thoughts, and those thoughts were scaring the hell out of me.
"I was a prisoner to my own thoughts, and those thoughts were scaring the hell out of me."
On March 26th, 2016, my thoughts finally took over. Those suicidal thoughts that would show up uninvited were stronger then they have ever been. Not knowing what to do, I finally broke down and fought the thoughts that have been taking over my life: I called my parents and told them what has been going on and headed to the Fredericton hospital, I was kept in emergency until my parents arrived from PEI and I was able to go home with them.
The next day I had to return to the hospital to see a psychiatrist. On March 27th, I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety Disorders, I am now on medications to help my day to day living become a little bit easier for me. Throughout my own mental health journey and through family, friends and clients my connection to mental health grows strong as each day passes.
WYL: Why is ending the stigma important to you?
JP: Ending the stigma behind mental illness is so important to me because (stigma) is the reason why I stayed quiet so long. Fear of being judged, fear of being treated differently by friends and family, fear of being diagnosed. Because of the stigma behind mental illness I was scared of being labeled as depressed, But thanks to Kayley and Kyle, I found out that it’s okay to Wear My Label.
WYL: How have you help others overcome their mental health challenges?
JP: While working in a mental health facility with clients of all different diagnosis you come to understand that not all diagnosis can be approached with the same method. So what do I to help others who face mental health issues is I encourage them, I remind them how much they've done and how far they've come, I remind them of how much they mean to people in their life and that they are worth so much in this world.
WYL: If you could describe your mental health struggle in one word what would it be?
JP: Empowering. I only chose this word because most people would suspect that a one word definition of a mental health struggle would be "suffering, helpless, lonely or crippling." But i see another side of my struggle: I see struggling as an opportunity, an opportunity to learn how I can better myself as an individual who deals with mental illness’ while working in the mental health field.
WYL: How do you take care of yourself?
JP: On days where my depression is controlling me, I like to go for walks with my camera to clear and occupy my mind.
Photos by Kelsey Schroeder