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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
Australians are not well prepared for death and there are indications that many people are not comfortable talking about death. It may be that as medical advances have improved our life span we have become less familiar with death or that as our community has changed our rituals and practices for caring for the dying have also changed. The last few years have seen an increasing interest in ensuring that dying is recognised within the community. Death education, public health promoting palliative care, death cafes, and compassionate communities are just some of the ways that people are reclaiming an awareness of, and a responsibility for, death and dying.
Dying To Know Day (August 8th) is an annual day of action dedicated to bringing to life conversations and community actions around death, dying and bereavement. Building community engagement with conversations about death and dying underpins our ability to understand our own mortality, to discuss options, and to plan for what is the natural outcome of being alive, dying. CareSearch has been contributing to community conversations about death and dying with the Dying2learn MOOC run in both 2016 and 2017. Over the last two years 3,000 participants joined in a community platform for open social discussion and connection on death, dying and palliative care. We are continuing this conversation with a series of blogs leading up to Dying to Know Day. These blogs give an insight into how important it is to have end-of-life conversations.
We are also encouraging local conversations by making available a Dying2Learn Kit for Dying to Know Day. This kit includes resources developed from the 2016 and 2017 MOOCs. The kit is free to order and the resources can be used to help start your first/next conversation about death and dying or to be given away at your next event. So look out for these 4 blogs over the next 3 weeks and order yourself (or others) a pack to help bring to life conversations and community actions around death, dying and palliative care.
Dr Jennifer Tieman is CareSearch Director and an Associate Professor within the Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services at Flinders University, South Australia.
25/07/2017 2:07 PM
Brilliant article which clearly outlines what we hope to continue to achieve on this Dying To Know Day!
Talking about dying,death,palliative care,having these conversations are vital in bringing death back t life!
Thank you for all of the great work you do!
26/07/2017 1:12 PM
Lovely to hear from you and thanks for continuing the connversation.