For Dying Matters Awareness Week 2023, we’ll be focusing on Dying Matters at work. Starting conversations about dying is often not as hard as you might think.
Dying Matters is Hospice UK’s flagship national campaign. Working in partnership with grassroots communities around the UK, it aims to get people talking and sharing stories openly about dying and grief, to reduce the associated stress, stigma and social isolation. Every year, people around the country use Dying Matters Awareness Week as a moment to encourage all communities to get talking in whatever way, shape or form works for them.
In 2023, stigma around grieving, and a lack of understanding about what it means to be ill and what happens when you’re dying, means that too many of us are struggling to cope when faced with life’s inevitable challenges. 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. We want to create open and compassionate society where we’re comfortable facing the realities of dying, death and grief.
57% of employees will have experienced a bereavement in the last five years and every day, more than 600 people quit work to look after older and disabled relatives. And yet, fewer than one in five managers feel very confident supporting someone they manage with a bereavement.
By talking to those around you, you can help us make sure that workplaces are properly set up to support people who are ill, who are caring for those around them, or who have lost someone close to them. Anyone can get involved in Dying Matters Awareness Week, whether with friends and family, with your company or in the community. Hospices, healthcare trusts, schools, theatre groups, libraries, care homes, artists – we’re amazed by the diversity, breadth and creativity of the organisations who get involved. And they all have one thing in common: whoever starts the conversation, and however they do it, they never find it as challenging as they feared, and they always feel better for having started talking.
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