Suicide prevention is a topic of great concern to Korean society. And the "Heart and One Body Movement" of the Seoul diocese has been in the forefront in addressing this urgent issue. As reported in the Peace Weekly, the Heart and One Body Movement is using the principles of Harrison Owen's Open Space Technology to structure their programs, as they did recently in discussions with members of the Legion of Mary.
In one of the
first meetings, with more than 50
attending, several suggestions were made, including the need for more
education on how to prevent suicides, for more study rooms for children
of parents who have to work to support the family, and for children of
divorced parents, or wherever conditions exist that lead to neglected
The Religious Sister who heads the center for suicide prevention has begun a forum
according to Owen's Open Space principles, which include abandoning the established framework and formalities
for such meetings, proceeding without specialists, with an open forum where a variety of
ideas can be expressed as the need dictates, involving issues
not easily solved, having high potential for conflict, and
requiring an urgent
issue--all of which are helpful in motivating the participants.
by the One Mind and One Heart Movement the topic at a recent meeting was "What can we do to make
our communities secure from the problems associated with suicide?" The
discussion was heated and the following were some of the suggestions offered.
a person commit suicide? *Why does a person become lonely? *How can we
read the hearts of those who are lonely? *How do we approach a person
who is suffering from depression? *How do we go about saying a caring
word to those who are lonely? *How do we go about being helpful to
those who are lonely? *How to we show love to those who are having
*How are we to look after children who are neglected? *Should we gather
children of the same age into groups?
space technology principles, all participants in the forum were seen to
take a lively interest
in the discussion, with each participant deciding on some plan of
action. It is not the kind of program that attempts to fill a
person's head with knowledge but instead attempts to find within one's
self the answers to urgent issues. By hearing a variety of
answers that come from personal experience, we are more likely to have a
better understanding of
what we are capable of achieving in the future.
The climate for the discussions was prepared
without specialists with the experience and knowledge of the participants that was consistent with their
religious faith. The group
was not in any way impeded from coming up with resolutions that
were doable, energizing the group to work toward these goals in the