Can you give a brief overview of your topic/idea, and why you’re so passionate about it?
My topic is about suicide prevention. I examine the truth that hurt people hurt people, and recognize we can change that cycle by helping people who then often help others. Using the most extreme, stigmatized, relevant topic I know: suicide, I show through personal stories and practical tips that we can do something to help save lives. I'm passionate about this because I have seen first hand how talking directly and openly about suicide saves lives. Just like CPR, everyday people can be trained in suicide first aid. The more people we have trained, the quicker those who need help will get it. It’s an effective life saving measure, and that's what makes it a life-giving passion for me to follow.
Can you tell us about the history of this idea - how did you conceive of it?
This idea was born out of lived experience. I saw a pattern of how hurt people hurt people. I also saw that it didn't need to end there. When my first husband died by suicide, I was hurting. I could have become very bitter. However, I recognized that I had done the best that I could with what I knew at the time. I also became aware that there were programs I could take that could help me further my abilities to help someone at risk for suicide in the future.
How does your topic fit in with our theme of Interconnectedness?
It's through our interconnectedness, the dance we engage in with one another, that we will either contribute to patterns that foster detrimental setbacks, or new patterns that provide help, healing, and hope for a better outcome.
What does Interconnectedness mean to you?
To me, interconnectedness means that what I do matters. What I do impacts myself and others. Even as we live our daily lives, we are connected to the environment around us, through nature, relationships, the systems we try to navigate, and so on. Shifting one element can create a chain reaction in the people around us, and even how we care for the planet we live on.
What is your goal in delivering this TED talk?
To raise awareness on suicide, and that it is preventable. For listeners to feel empowered to take action. And for this message to reach TEDx and TED watchers on a global scale, because the truths that will be shared in this talk are not only relevant for me and my community, but for the global family as well.