Challenging the stigma around death during Dying Matters Awareness Week

People in the Black Country are being encouraged to break the taboo and talk about death, dying and bereavement this week.

Led by Hospice UK, Dying Matters Awareness Week aims to bring people and communities together to create an open culture when it comes to talking about death and grief, and help reduce the associated stress, stigma and social isolation.

The theme for this year will focus on ‘Dying Matters at Work’ ensuring workplaces are properly equipped to provide care and support to those who are ill, caring for a person who may be at the end of their life or have already lost a loved one.  Dr Ananta Dave, Chief Medical Officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said:

“Everyone will encounter death at some point in their life, and yet most people find it almost impossible to talk about.

"Struggling to communicate about death often results in missing out on adequate support while dealing with bereavement and grief, or not getting the end of life we wished for when it comes to our final moments.

“It’s a subject that most people don’t want to talk about until it’s too late or forced upon them, and the workplace is no exception. We spend so much of our lives at work, and we shouldn’t have to hide our experiences of death and dying from our colleagues, our peers, or our bosses.

"Talking about death is a difficult conversation to initiate which is why Dying Matters Awareness Week provides a great opportunity to start the conversation and to encourage people to get talking in whatever way, shape or form works for them."

To mark Dying Matters Awareness Week and to help tackle the stigma and open up conversations about grief and death, a range of events will be taking place across the Black Country throughout the week. Dr Dave added:

“I really encourage people to come along to their nearest event to find out what help is available and what we can all do to prepare ourselves and our loved ones.

“It’s a chance to ask your questions and talk to a range of experts in caring for people at the end of life and supporting people experiencing bereavement.”


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