San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Last year 57,500 people died in Scotland and around 46,000 of these people needed some form of palliative care. That’s care that aims to treat or manage pain and other physical symptoms as well as supporting psychological, social or spiritual needs.
For many people living with a terminal illness, their mental health issues can be very apparent but can often go untreated and unsupported. This can cause a significant impact on someone’s quality of life and can also make their condition worsen. How can we make sure that people at the end of life, or those living with a terminal illness, are able to access support for mental health problems to support them to die well? And what of their families, loved ones and carers - how are they supported through this highly emotional time?
What of those people with existing mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder or clinical depression, who are approaching the end of life? There isn’t much research to show how many people with severe mental health issues need palliative care. People with severe mental conditions tend to die earlier on average than the general population - the majority of these deaths are due to chronic physical medical conditions such as cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious diseases. Existing psychiatric symptoms can be made worse by a physical illness.
Join Christy Kenneally, our keynote speaker, as he speaks about the challenges of supporting mental health in dying, death and bereavement. Christy is an Irish author, speaker, poet, TV presenter and scriptwriter - well known for his work on bereavement and dealing with loss. He is passionate about suicide prevention and postvention, bereavement support, mental health reform, positive ageing, social inclusion, education, homelessness, rights of the elderly, cancer care, and building resilience. He has worked with cancer support and positive mental health with organisations such as Console, Living Links, The Samaritans, A Little Lifetime Foundation, Accord, The Hospice Foundation, Bethany Bereavement Groups, The Irish Heart Foundation, & The Irish Cancer Society. A panel discussion will follow with questions from the audience.
The Scottish Government are currently producing their next mental health strategy for Scotland. We think that the strategy needs to look closer at how care is delivered for people with mental health issues arising from their terminal illness, and those with severe mental health conditions approaching the end of life. Outputs from this event will hopefully be used to help inform the Scottish Government’s next mental health strategy.
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Marie Curie’s vision is for a better life for people and their families living with a terminal illness. Our mission is to help people and their families living with a terminal illness make the most of the time they have together by delivering expert care, emotional support, research and guidance.