Counsellor aims to get people talking grief, death

Cecilia AllenSouth Western Times

People are being encouraged to have a conversation around death, dying and bereavement.

Managing director and counsellor of the newly-opened South West Grief and Loss Centre, Leanne O’Shea, developed the North Boyanup centre to build a stronger community connection and encourage conversations around death and dying.

Last month Mrs O’Shea held a Dying to Know Day, a national annual day dedicated to bringing life to conversations and community actions around the subject of dying.

Mrs O’Shea said the forum received positive feedback with people from funeral homes, palliative care and community members attending.

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“People were engaging so much in the conversation about death and grief I’ve decided to hold a similar forum – maybe once a month,” she said.

“People want to have the conversation, so I’ve created the space for it to happen.

“As a western culture, we don’t really understand grief and loss like other cultures so it’s about coming together, educating and finding ways we can move through grief.”

Mrs O’Shea said the centre grew out of her counselling work, where she identified that death was a subject people really struggled to come to terms with.

“I feel very comfortable in the subject of death and dying and it’s very honourable to be with someone during that journey,” she said.

“The centre is very much an education campus as well as a therapeutic environment.

“Everyone can be affected by death and grief so having programs in place when things happen is important.”

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