Grief | Prof Lauren Breen and Shelly Skinner

Grief and dying are among the most underdiscussed topics in society. How does this impact our wellbeing, and does our understanding about grief need to change? 

To explore this topic, Sarah is joined by Professor Lauren Breen and Ms Shelly Skinner. Lauren is researcher in Curtin University’s School of Population Health, specialising in the psychology of grief and loss. Lauren’s research is internationally recognised, and she has received a research recognition award from the Association for Death Education and Counselling in the USA, for her significant contribution to studies concerning grief across the lifespan. Shelly is a social worker who specialises in the palliative care of children, and is also the CEO and Founder of a children's bereavement service, Lionheart Camp for Kids.

  • What is grief literacy? [1:49]
  • Does palliative care need to change to include the grieving process after death? [09:11]
  • Has the rising acceptance of voluntary assisted dying helped in discussions about death and grieving? [12:49]
  • The stigma of certain ‘causes’ of death [14:29]
  • COVID-19 and ‘pandemic grief’ [17:30]:
  • The so-called ‘death industry’: will the funeral industry change in light of our changing attitudes towards death [19:41]
  • How should we be involving children in the grieving process and ritual? [24:23]

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Connect with our guests

Professor Lauren Breen

Professor Lauren Breen is a Curtin University health researcher who is internationally recognised for her research in the psychology of grief and loss.

Shelley Skinner

Ms Shelly Skinner is a social worker who is involved in the palliative care of children. She founded the Lionheart Camp for Kids to help children who have lost people close to them to grieve.

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  • Host: Sarah Taillier
  • Content Creator: Karen Green
  • Producer: Emilia Jolakoska
  • Recordist: Annabelle Fouchard

First Nations Acknowledgement

Curtin University acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which Curtin Perth is located, the Whadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation, and on Curtin Kalgoorlie, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields; and the First Nations peoples on all Curtin locations.


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