Talking with Scotland about death

Section: People and NetworksType: News Item Date Published: 6th June 2018

A recap of the Academy's recent Twitter chat, promoting positive conversations about death

The Health and Social Care Academy (the Academy) recently lead a Twitter chat as part of Good Death Week. Working in partnership with Good Life Good Death Grief (this link will take you away from our website), the Academy posed questions on Twitter and guided a stimulating and interesting discussion about a topic that is all too rarely spoken about publicly.

The chat was really heartening, with people across Scotland participating to bring challenging and thoughtful ideas to the discussion. The conversation ranged from practical suggestions for end of life planning and when we should speak to children about death, to which songs people want to have played at their funeral. Speaking openly and easily about death is a key step on the way to being able to improve the way that we experience death.

The chat started with the Academy asking for suggestions about what constitutes a good death and the responses were enlightening, suggesting a common desire for agency and comfort on the part of the dying person.

We then moved onto our next question, asking what we can do to ensure the Scottish people are able to “die well”. We got a number of replies, many of which were centered around practical suggestions for we can be more proactive in preparing for death, both collectively and as an individual.

This led us naturally into our next question, asking what people have done already to prepare their own death. The respondents recognised that this can be a challenging conversation but that the benefits of discussing their plans were real.

To round things off we asked contributors to let us know what can be done to improve the quality of conversations around death.

The enthusiasm and thoughtfulness shown by those engaging with the chat was enormously encouraging and the Academy aims to ensure that further work is done to shine a light on how we can improve conversations around death in Scotland.

If you have any thoughts on work that could be done to that end, please contact with suggestions.

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