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Experts call for grief and bereavement awareness in the community

Palliative Care Australia and the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement have launched a joint Policy Statement on Grief and Bereavement to highlight the need for further investment in bereavement services.

In the statement they highlight the potential impact of grief on carers and family members, as well as staff. In particular they point-to the need for bereavement support that is sensitive to cultural and linguistic diversity and the importance of which is recognised in residential aged care and workplaces. In their statement:

Palliative Care Australia and the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement are of the view that grief support for all health professionals should be a key component of self-care.

Palliative Care Australia and the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement recommend and advocate for:

  • The promotion of community awareness of bereavement issues and recognition by the establishment of a National Grief Awareness Day
  • Improved education and understanding of grief and bereavement, including identification of prolonged grief disorder, for health and aged care professionals. There must be ongoing access to professional development and inclusion in undergraduate curricula and vocational training pathways
  • Recognition of the specialised skills required to effectively treat individuals with prolonged grief disorder, and development of referral pathways to assist in timely access
  • Australian workplaces to consider and compassionately respond to grief through development of extended bereavement leave policies
  • Health services to review their policies and procedures to reflect support that enables people to follow cultural and traditional practices relating to death and dying.”

Click here to download the Policy Statement on Grief and Bereavement.

The release of the Policy Statement coincides with the Australian Grief and Bereavement Conference currently being held in Manly, and with Dying to Know Day 2018 events highlighting the importance of conversations about life and death.

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