Dying to know

  • Issued by NHS Highland

Death is not a subject that we openly discuss – talking about our own mortality is one of the last taboo subjects there is.

However, a special event taking place at the Inverness Town House  on Friday aims to encourage people to find out all they ever wanted to know about dying – but were afraid to ask.

‘Dying to know’ aims to get information about death and dying out into the public view and to encourage conversations around the subject.

The event is being staged by NHS Highland community development officer, Kate Maclean in partnership with Age Scotland, Highland Council, the Health and Happiness Project and the Adult Protection Unit, and will include a series of presentations on a wide range of topics such as wills, power of attorney and funeral planning. The Provost of Inverness, Alex Graham, will officially open the event at 11am.

“Because people often shy away from having difficult conversations around either their own, or a relative or friend’s dying or death, much unnecessary anxiety is added to the stress of bereavement,” said Mrs Maclean.

“We all know that making arrangements brings peace of mind, but knowing that and doing something about it are two completely different things.

“We held our first ‘Dying to know’ conference last year in the Nairn Community Centre, which was attended by over 200 people and widely acclaimed by the public and many agencies.

“There is an aspiration to formalise the event into a roadshow to make it more accessible for rural communities. For the time being, I would like to encourage people to come along to the Inverness Town House and perhaps help allay any fears they might have around death and dying.”

One of the presentations will be given by NHS Highland healthcare chaplain, Derek Brown. Based at Raigmore Hospital, he has plenty experience of having these difficult conversations with friend’s families and individuals who have had bad news and is hopeful events like this can change people’s reluctance to talk about death and dying.
He said: “I would hope that anyone coming along on Friday does so with an open mind. Come along to be surprised, informed and hopefully have any anxiety allayed by the fact that it’s ok to talk about death.

“There needs to be better public awareness and education around the subject so that people can put plans in place that both assist their loved ones and also help with their own peace of mind.

“People can feel rather morbid when the subject is discussed but at the same time, these discussions can be productive and help people with both the practical and spiritual elements of death.”

‘Dying to know’ takes place in the Inverness Town House on Friday, 24 October between 11am and 3pm.  For more information, please contact Kate Maclean on kate.maclean@nhs.net .



20 Oct 2014
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