Dialogue resources

A photo of dozens of rectangular hand-written comment cards on a table.
Individual responses after participating in Addiction Matters Kamloops' opioid dialogue event

People often find it difficult to address issues around which there is divergent opinion and contested evidence. Addressing the complex issues related to mental health and substance use requires that we come together as a community and build understanding between ourselves. But how?

We live in an age of polarization and fragmentation. An era when we increasingly label people, assign them into groups and stigmatize them. In the process, those groups lose their connection to the whole. Many people today feel disconnected or excluded from their community, from their government, and ultimately from each other. Problems on a social level—such as poverty, inequality, homelessness, mental health and substance use issues, discrimination, and crime and violence—stem from our inability to see that we are fundamentally connected, to embrace diversity, and to understand each other and our shared world.

Dialogue can bring people together and bridge divides within communities. The intent is to leave the conversation with a better understanding of the topic and the different perspectives and experiences that might contribute to deeper understanding.

Resources for understanding and facilitating dialogue

Dialogue can be helpful in virtually any setting to address almost any challenge. The resources here are arranged according to three settings in which they were developed. While there is considerable duplication across settings, even resources with the same title may have important variations. Looking at these variations may help you adapt and use these resources to address issues in your setting.