Grief, and suicide prevention

Announcement: Shawna Percy speaker at upcoming TEDxUW


The same day I got a call from 100 Huntley Street asking me to be a guest on their show I also received a call from TEDxUW. It was a good day. A very, very good day.

The first call came through while I was stopped at Chapters on my way up north. Then my phone rang a second time. I was driving next to a beautiful passage of water and rock half way through my trip to a cottage. The voice on the other end of the phone was the organizer of TEDxUW. “I’m calling to let you know we’ve selected you as one of our TEDxUW speakers for this year.” I held it together, but as soon as we got off the line I called my husband, crying.

What happened?” He asked.

I had just been invited to be a speaker on one of the most powerful platforms in the world and I could hardly string together a sentence. “TEDx called me.

Pause. My husband cautiously responded, “Is this a good cry or a bad cry.

After a few more blubs I blurted out, “It’s a good cry. A very, very good cry.

Why was I so emotional? As 100 Huntley Street host Cheryl Weber pointed out in our interview when she initially called my passion my career, she quickly corrected herself and said “it’s your mission really.” That’s just it. I have found my why. And because I have found my why I have motivation for every discussion about suicide and an endless pursuit to raise the level of conversation across any medium I gain access to. That included applying to TEDxUW. TED has a worldwide reach. The impact of talking about suicide prevention on this platform could be exponential. Of course the effects of giving a talk like this through TEDxUW in my own community alone has the ability to heighten awareness and even save lives.

It’s people like the TEDxUW organizers who realize the value of speaking out about suicide that will give life to ideas that could destroy long held stigma-inducing perceptions, and make it more likely that those who need help will seek it.

Thank you TEDxUW team! Here’s looking forward to November 26th and the difference we’re going to make together.

If you are interested in applying to attend this TEDxUW event please click here.  Applications close October 27th.


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