Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Tobin, M. and Lambert, S.
National Health Services Research Institute (NHSRI) Research Day
Traveller Community Health Workers' experience of grief following suicide and sudden death
Dept. of Epidemiology. University College Cork
Poster Presentation
Optional Fields
The aim of this study is to add to our understanding of the effects of the differential mortality rate by exploring how grief is experienced within the Traveller community in the context of bereavement from multiple deaths or sudden deaths (including suicide). Method. Data from three semi-structured focus group interviews with a total of ten Traveller Community Health Worker participants (nine female and one male) were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results. Two master themes organised the salient phenomenological aspects of the grief experience: Living with Tragic Loss and Communicating Tragic Loss. A picture emerged of individual and community-level loss that is extensive, profound, and enduring. The sequelae of deaths by suicide include difficulties in coping, a search for meaning, and a pervasive sense of fear. Silence, the embodied act of giving voice to tragic loss, and strategies for managing disclosure of tragic deaths with children were all strong themes which emerged from the analysis. Conclusions. This study uses IPA to generate a vivid picture of the lived psychological experience of grief as it is experienced by members of a minority group with above average rates of sudden and early deaths. This contributes to understanding the burden of health inequality in an under-researched population. Findings in relation to challenges in communicating with children about tragic deaths can be integrated into bereavement support resources.