Deborah Binion, Executive Director and Co-Founder.
Deborah spent the first twenty-seven years of her professional life working in the legal field. In 2010, Deborah personally experienced the tragic effect that lack of knowledge and compassion in the community about mental illness can have on a family when her son Jordan took his own life as a direct result of developing a mental illness. The devastating pain that Deborah experienced at the loss of her son, turned into a passion for mental health education and a focus on preventing further tragedies. Realizing that our public educational system at the time provided little or no education with regard to mental illness, in 2011, Deborah developed an educational program and began contacting schools in her community. The program took off and as a result, in 2013 she and her husband Willie, formed the Jordan Binion Project. Currently, the Jordan Binion Project provides mental health educational presentations to schools in Pierce County and South King County. Deborah and her husband Willie have also been instrumental in getting laws changed with regard to the rights of parents and evaluation and treatment of children with mental illness.
Willie Binion, President and Co-Founder
Willie has spent the majority of his adult years working in the healthcare field. Right out of high school Willie joined the army and spent his military years working as an army medic. After leaving the army in 1983, Willie went to school at the University of Washington to become a Physician Assistant. For the first two years after graduating Willie worked for a inpatient mental health facility in Seattle. For the next seventeen years Willie worked for a community based clinic in Seattle providing healthcare services to a low-income and underserved population. He is currently practicing family medicine for the Department of Defense. Throughout his years working as a Physician Assistant, he has encountered many patients that have mental illness and has a great deal of compassion for that population. During his career in medicine, Willie never imagined that he would be so directly impacted by mental illness, until the loss of his son. His work through the Jordan Binion Project has been extremely meaningful to him and has made him realize how important early diagnosis and treatment is for a successful recovery with mental illness. His hope is that through education, young people will reach out for help early.
Anthony Binion, Vice President
We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can build a youth for our future
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Jordan Binion Project’s mission is to educate youth about the issue of mental illness with the hope of providing a brighter future for our world. Currently 90% of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness. This statistic must change! Unfortunately, like my family, many families affected by mental illness do not know where or how to get proper help for their family member before it is too late. My hope for the Jordan Binion Project is that by educating young adults that we can make mental health related suicides something of the past. I believe the only way this can be accomplished is through education and advocacy, which is the exact foundation of what the Jordan Binion Project is built on. I am confident in saying that this organization will change our world for the better and I am proud to be part of that change.
Eric Emry, Treasurer
Mental health was something that was rarely talked about in my household growing up. It wasn’t because my family felt that it was taboo or that it was a bad thing. It was simply a topic that my family knew very little about. We only heard whisperings of mental illness in the headlines of school shootings and other media-crazed events. Light was rarely shed on the day to day struggles of our mentally ill brothers and sisters. Growing up with a lack of understanding about mental health, motivated me to be a part of this non-profit. I have always believed that education and awareness aid in cultivating open and honest discussion. With discussion comes enlightenment. I am certain that the Jordan Binion Project will enlighten our youth and help remove the stigma placed on these illnesses one classroom at a time.
Melissa Huston, Director
After losing her father to suicide, Melissa chose to focus her grief into learning more about mental illness and how she could help spread awareness about this taboo subject. Her hope is that through her efforts others will know that they are not alone, that their stories and lives matter.
Melissa graduated from the University of Washington with her B.A. in Psychology and later a B.S. in Accounting from the University of New York. Melissa is a doting mother of two and you can find her on the weekends skateboarding around town with them or volunteering with community events.
Megan Irving, Director
Megan is no stranger to mental health disorders. For many years she has been an active advocate and support system for a family member that has struggled with their mental health. It has been her passion to learn more, and share her knowledge with others.
Although she has not worked in the mental health field, Megan has persistently looked for ways to contribute her personal and professional experience to educating others about mental health. With her many years in the creative fields of graphic design and marketing she has found a great opportunity to unite her skills with her desire to help others.