Presented by: Bruce Rumbold Samar Aoun, Samar Aoun
In recent decades most attention devoted to bereavement has focused on providing counselling for bereaved individuals. Only recently have there been attempts to consider bereavement experiences in general society.
Our survey of nearly seven hundred bereaved clients of four funeral providers in two Australian states confirms a public health model predicting that over half the group would demonstrate low risk of complicated grief, another third moderate risk, while a small minority would meet the criteria for prolonged grief disorder. The survey also shows differing patterns of need and sources of support for each of the groups. Our findings suggest not only that the bereavement care provided by health services should be carefully targeted, but that a primary public health interest should be in the care that supports the majority of bereaved people. This care is provided in community settings by a range of people. Some are healthcare practitioners contributing through their everyday activities, not bereavement programs per se. Most care comes from people already involved in the everyday lives of those recently bereaved. These people are assets already in place, contributing to each other’s resilience. The most effective way to provide bereavement care is to support these ‘everyday assets’, ensuring that their care is recognized, appreciated, and not disrupted by over-reach from professional services.
In this presentation we will outline the findings of surveys and interviews undertaken with recently-bereaved people, and focus upon the types of partnerships needed for sustainable bereavement care by local communities.