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Bringing Grief work to work: Staff and volunteer experiences of grief and loss (evans room)

Bringing Grief work to work: Staff and volunteer experiences of grief and loss


Presented by Elham Day

This experiential workshop will explore reflective and creative ways for staff and teams working in end of life, palliative care, and death care to tend to their experiences of grief and loss.

While there are a range of formal and informal grief support available to the majority of clients and families receiving palliative care – yet too often the additional (and inevitable) grief and bereavement experiences of staff, volunteers and support workers in palliative care are minimised or neglected.

Commonly, staff are encouraged to practice ‘self care’ to manage their grief. While an individualistic approach to 'managing the symptom of grief' may assist some, this workshop will advocate for the benefits of teams and organisations sharing responsibility for co-creating spaces where grief can be tended to, shared and experienced collectively – as has been the norm for the majority of millennia that humans have been grieving loss.

Beginning with reflections from staff at an Australian children’s hospice who have sought to embed the cultivation of a personal and collective relationship with grief into the organisation’s emerging culture, this workshop will be an invitation for discussion, imagination and wondering about how we may nurture and tend to grief in our work teams and communities. Drawing on practice wisdom, research and documented experiences, participants will leave with a number of tools and resources to return to their organisations and communities.