“We need to talk about dying” encourages West Midlands health organisations

11th May 2021

Attitudes to death and dying in the Black Country and West Birmingham will be the focus of a virtual event on Thursday, 13 May as part of Dying Matters Week.

Public sector workers, the community and voluntary sector, and members of the public will gather to share ideas about how people can be more open about end of life and help them to prepare.

Dying Matters Week is held between 10 to 16 May and encourages people to open up the conversation around death, dying and bereavement.

Many people are reluctant to hold conversations with their loved ones about their preferences about end-of-life care, funeral and financial planning. The event will discuss how families, employers and communities as a whole can remove the stigma from talking about death and dying and make a difference for the people they care about.

Dr Anna Lock, consultant in palliative care in Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, said: “Many people die without discussing their wishes with their families, but this may be for lots of different reasons.  Often it might be that they are reluctant to face up to the reality of death which comes to us all eventually, but there are also cultural and community barriers to open conversations. We will also discuss how employers can support those in their workforce who have been bereaved, and the needs of younger people who are faced with bereavement, including how schools and colleges can help. We really want to hear from anyone who wants to help break down the taboos around death and dying as well as supporting people to make plans in advance.”

The event is free and open to anyone to join.  Bookings can be made via Eventbrite and more information about the topic can be found on the Healthier Futures website.

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