The Traveller Health Unit, HSE Mid West Community Healthcare / North Tipperary Development Company: Invitation to Tender
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Responding to Traveller Grief and Loss:
Developing an evidenced based and culturally competent model.
Engage with Traveller Families in a supported methodology to explore the experience of multiple grief and loss both as individuals and as part of their family unit, to co-produce a model of culturally competent practice and supporting resources.
Knowledge of higher rates of death by suicide and other sudden causes, among members of the Traveller Community than the general population combined with evidence of psychological literature on bereavement which found that both traumatic deaths and multiple deaths in close networks are likely to lead to complicated grief reactions underpinned research by Tobin et al., (2018) which found that “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”.
The literature, local experience of multiple grief and loss within the Traveller Community and emerging requests from Travellers themselves for more than immediate support, prompted the HSE Mid West Community Healthcare Traveller Health Unit (THU) to commence a process of considering the development of a model of practice that would be responsive Travellers living in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary who experience multiple loss.
HSE Traveller Health Unit (THU) and the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP)
Project Steering Group
- North Tipperary Development Company (NTDC)
- HSE Traveller Health
- HSE Mental Health Services (Office for Suicide Prevention & Service Coordination gor Travellers).
The successful consultant will engage in on-going dialogue with the Project Steering Group to shape the focus of the work.
- Engage with at least one extended Traveller Family (as individual family units) willing together in a supported, creative and nourishing environment for a defined period of time to explore their individual and shared grief and loss experience.
- Utilise an evidenced based methodology that would incorporate facilitated group work/creative arts to facilitate Travellers exploration of their experience of grief and loss.
- Recognise participants who may need individual support and adhere to appropriate referral pathways for an individual who is at risk.
- Work with local services /supports ensure accessibility for the duration of the project
- Co-produce items of individual and family art that would celebrate Traveller lives, identity and pride.
- Co-produce a model of practice that supports a culturally competent response to Traveller grief & loss & accompanying resources e.g. Podcast/literacy friendly resources
- Evaluate, document and disseminate the learning and work process undertaken
Our project places Family at the centre whilst taking a community development ethos of ground up approach. The art work created in the process and the conversations that emerge should act as the tools to open up supported discussion around issues of the grief and loss experience, raise awareness of supports available, encourage and foster engagement. The completed art works will belong to the participants for them to take home at the end of the project.
May to October 2021
Principles underpinning the project
Participation in the project should promote engagement, individual, family and community, and will help to identify the changes each person wishes to make in relevant areas of their lives, through a clear plan of action in a focused and confident manner. At the end of the project it is envisaged that the participants will feel more confident, aware and energised of community supports. This project will utilise and build on the following core values and principles
- Social justice: is about equality; equal health status; improvements in social determinants of health
- Respect: is about valuing people and ending discrimination.
- Culture: is about values, norms and beliefs, and traditions and about understanding and celebrating cultural difference.
- Empowerment: is about Travellers being able to influence decisions and make informed choices.
- Community: is about the collective and shared issues and organising to achieve change in these.
The project could incorporate
- CHIME (Connectedness, Hope, Identity, Meaning & Empowerment) Framework
- Co-operative enquiry
- Creative Arts
- An Evidenced Based Methodology
- Family based Group Work
Tobin, M; Lambert, S; & McCarthy, J. (2018) 'Grief, Tragic Death, and Multiple Loss in the Lives of Irish Traveller Community Health Workers'. Omega Journal of Death and Dying.