The informal, relaxed discussion allows anyone to share and explore their thoughts and feelings about life and death, in a safe and supported environment. It is a place where people can express ideas, beliefs and feelings about death and its meaning.
Since launching in 2016, many topics have been discussed including cultural perspectives on death and dying, where certain traditions have come from, the language used in death and dying and why death has become a taboo subject in society.
From January 2019, Mountbatten is taking Death Chat out to its shops in Ventnor and Shanklin where anyone can stop by for a tea or coffee and join the conversation. The monthly chats, supported by Mountbatten’s Psychology and Bereavement team, are as follows:
• Mountbatten Ventnor, 16 Pier Street: 15:00 to 16:00 on the third Monday of every month
• Mountbatten Shanklin, 63 Regent Street: 15:00 to 16:00 on the fourth Monday of every month
There will also be a monthly event at Mountbatten Hospice, with a planned schedule of speakers on topics related to death and dying. The new event begins with a showing of the acclaimed film ‘Island’ by Steven Eastwood, which follows the lives and deaths of Islanders cared for and supported by Mountbatten.
The first 6 months’ programme of evening events, all starting at 18:00 and held in the John Cheverton Centre, is as follows:
• 7th January 2019, a showing of the film ‘Island’, introduced by Mountbatten Chief Executive Officer Nigel Hartley and followed by open discussion
• 4th February 2019, caring for pets when their owner is dying or has died. Presentation by the Cinnamon Trust, a national charity offering support services to elderly and terminally ill pet owners, and Pets at Rest, a pet cemetery and crematorium in Newport which offers support to owners when their pet has died
• 4th March 2019, a discussion on assisted dying with a panel of medical experts presenting both sides of the topic.
• 1st April 2019, a visit to the Isle of Wight Crematorium for a talk and tour
• 3rd June 2019, a talk about the Death Café movement, what it is and how it was started, by Nick Wilde from Death Café Isle of Wight
Nigel Hartley, Mountbatten CEO, said:
“Talking about death and dying will not hasten or bring about death; these conversations are about enabling us to make the most of our finite lives, and we know that talking about death and dying can help alleviate fears or concerns and enhance the quality of daily life. Please come along and help us break the taboo over talking about this important topic.”
Death Chat is a free event that is open to the public – you do not have to have any connection with Mountbatten to attend. See www.mountbatten.org.uk for the latest Death Chat event and details.