Perspective: Active Minds reaches out to students

Trigger warning: suicide, mental health stigma

Three years ago on October 19th, a young man named Corey Jackson killed himself on this campus. 

In some ways, Corey’s suicide fell into a context of other gay and lesbian suicides that were being reported across the country, with Tyler Clementi at Rutgers being the name that most folks outside of OU can connect to those 2010 fall suicides.

I know most of you weren’t at OU yet when this happened. This may be the first time you’ve heard about it. 

But it’s important for you to know, right? It’s kinda hard to put into words exactly why, but suicide hits people in a really raw way.

I sincerely hope to have real talk with you about this suicide and what are we to do three years later.

I did not know Corey. I learned that I could love him regardless. I discovered that I can always make more room for love, however something awful happened in order for me to realize that.

When you’re a depressed gay kid and another gay kid commits suicide in the place where you both live, you suddenly see a mirror in front of you with the words “that could have been me” written across it.

You re-think the way you need to survive. It shouldn’t have to be like that.

There are infinite ways to contextualize a tragedy.

What is the immediate impact? And on whom? What are the long-term impacts? How did the actions and words, spoken and unspoken, in the hours, days, weeks, years before that day lead to this particular consequence? How did we get to this place in our culture where queer kids kill themselves? What spaces are there in our culture, both on campus and society at large, where we can talk about our mental health and survival?  

These all lead to even tougher questions, like what does it mean to build a culture where we, as individual people and as part of larger institutions, love people because of who they are, not despite of who they are?

Whether that means you’re part of the LGBTIQ community, you have a mental disability (like depression, bipolar, schizophrenia), and/or you’re part of other marginalized communities, what does it look like to heal from so much historical weight that still continues to damage your communities?

So many things overlap, affect, and intensify each other.

These conversations are hard, and that’s exactly why we need to have them. I challenge you to join us in this dialogue about where we go from here.

Active Minds is a mental health awareness student organization on campus.

I will be facilitating a discussion at their meeting on Wednesday, October 23rd at noon at room 128 in the OC. 



Active Minds is a group dedicated to helping those with mental health issues at Oakland University through a combination of education and oureach.To learn more about the organization, visit their official website at