On January 30th I presented to the Laurentian University 4th year Social Work class via video conference. Agents of change, social change to be specific was the topic of the day.
By now you are certainly seeing a pattern of my work with Laurentian. I guess this is what creating a dialogue and social change is all about. I’ve never considered myself to be an ‘agent of change’. Sounds like a secret agent of sorts. I believe that the greatest change occurs when we are too busy working on our passions to notice the change that we have made. The goal is not change, the outcome is change.
Although I’ve been working on the Collateral Damage Project for almost three years, I can honestly say that I am only beginning to see change that will continue on far beyond my voice. Even after the concert in Ottawa for 2011 World Suicide Prevention Day, one of our advisory tem members said to me “you must feel very proud.” I did feel proud, the evening was powerful…but, the achievement of ‘change’ did not resonate with me. To truly understand the power of the concert, you had to be there and this ultimately was a limited audience. I believe it was truly powerful for all those in attendance but again, limited to relatively a few. However, with the presentations and the engagement with Laurentian University and Northern Ontario School of Medicine students, I know that the message will be taken and shared far beyond the confines of the classroom(s). This to me is where we can measure change, when the conversation leaves our hands and others continue to not only share the conversation but inspire others to do the same.
SafeTALK is a high priority for all of the students, but I also know that this is just the beginning. I challenged the students to look for the starting point rather than the solutions.
I am inspired by the conversations with the Social Work class and I am confident that they too will not only continue the dialogue on suicide but inspire other to do the same.
Not talking about it isn’t working. Thank you for continuing the dialogue.