A public talk will be held in Truro to discuss palliative care and a new initiative promoting community awareness and support for those dealing with loss.
To promote a social movement around terminal illness and end-of-life support, Pallium Canada is presenting their compassionate communities strategy kit on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. at First United Church.
“It’s an old idea we are trying to reignite, in which communities rally around individuals when they are in need,” said Craig Johnston, executive director of the Colchester East Hants Hospice Society, who has partnered with Pallium to bring the presentation to Truro.
“The compassionate communities model hopes to establish a social transformation that will have us all thinking that way. As businesses and community members, we’ll have the tools to ensure people get the services and supports they need.”
At the presentation, Pallium Canada’s compassionate communities national lead, Bonnie Tompkins, will discuss the initiative and Pallium’s vision for better access to end-of-life needs and supports.
“Compassionate Communities is based on the idea that we can get people more comfortable talking about death, dying, loss and care giving,” said Tompkins.
“This way people won’t be afraid to convey their wishes or ask for help when they need it, or if they are a neighbour, they aren’t afraid to go to the family dealing with loss and offer help.”
The Compassionate Communities strategy promotes community awareness and togetherness, pushing both businesses and the public to work together to support individuals dealing with terminal illness and their loved ones who may also be affected.
“It is very similar to what we are seeing around mental health,” said Johnston.
“We want to inform and educate employers and individuals and create a social shift around how we talk about and treat mental health. With compassionate communities, we are saying terminal illness and end-of-life should be considered in a similar way.”
The CEHH already has programming similar to the compassionate communities strategy through a partnership with the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, and hopes the community will get behind the movement.
“The RECC is working under the idea that exercise is good for people’s mental, physical and all-around health,” said Johnston.
“If we have people on our caseload dealing with grief, or people visiting their loved ones in palliative care who need time to clear their mind, we provide them access to the gym and swimming pool through this partnership.”
After the public talk, a workshop on Pallium’s strategy kit will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, also at First United Church.
The strategy kit contains power points on what a compassionate community is, why it is important and why they make sense in society today.
It also carries information to help the community start their own movement initiative and run successfully for the first few months.
“I’ve worked on compassionate communities myself for two and a half years,” said Tompkins.
“It is quite a process to get going and can be quite daunting, so what we’re doing is taking best practices we have seen work, and putting them into kits people can access for free and use to get their initiatives going quicker.”
The workshop is open to the public, but those interested in attending it must RSVP by calling the CEHH at 902-893-3265.
If You Go
Pallium Canada’s Compassionate Community public talk
Wednesday, Nov. 8 – 7 p.m.
First United Church – Prince Street, Truro
Free to the public
Compassionate Community Workshop
Thursday, Nov. 9 – 9 a.m-noon
First United Church