Fanshawe Student Union Donation to LMSPC comes Full Circle
In April 2014, the Fanshawe Student Union donated $1000 to the London-Middlesex Suicide Prevention Council that was raised at a semi-formal event. What is noteworthy is that the donation was both unexpected and unsolicited. The need to support community based suicide prevention strategies was clearly on the minds of Fanshawe Student Leaders. Then Fanshawe Student Union President Adam Gourlay provided background on the idea for the donation:
” When we were looking at which charity to raise funds for we were looking at a couple of criteria. We were hoping to donate to a charity that is heavily involved in the field of mental wellness, is local to the community London-Middlesex and would have an impact for students as a whole.”
Chris Lethbridge. FSU’s VP Athletics & Residence Life, organized the semi-formal dance. After researching various local mental health organizations, Lethbridge selected LMSPC to receive the proceeds from the annual FSU event.
On April 29, 2014, LMSPC Co-Chair Catherine McInnes facilitated a public training of safeTALK, organized by LMSPC. safeTALK is a three hour course developed by Livingworks Education Inc. that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and to connect them to a suicide intervention caregiver. Several Fanshawe graduating students in the Social Service Worker program attended safeTALK and discussed their interest in attending the comprehensive ASIST Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. The students expressed that finding a training and the cost of training were challenging. In response, the LMSPC Executive decided to use the FSU donation to subsidize the cost of ASIST for these graduating students.
LMSPC Co-Chair Catherine McInnes notes, “the community impact of LMSPC has grown significantly in the last two years. An Ontario Trillium Foundation grant allowed us to hire a part-time project coordinator and to build a comprehensive website. It is clear that the London community is becoming more aware of the Council’s work.”
LMSPC has offered safeTALK in the community since 2012 and to date has trained over 1000 community members including Fanshawe Residence Advisors, Western Student groups, Ontario Works staff, and teacher candidates at the Faculty of Education at Western University. One of the Council’s goals is to have safeTALK become part of workplace health and safety training and that safeTALK will be as widely accepted and expected as First Aid/CPR.
If you would like to bring safeTALK to your school, work or volunteer community, please contact Lynda at safeTALK@lmspc.ca