‘Good Grief’ the Young Health Champions take it further!

After the completion of the initial CEDAR ‘Life Lessons’ workshop, a focus group was created with the Young Health Champion participants to collect their feedback on the programme. They were very positive and the participants were requesting to learn more! So this led to the development of a second level of education that would allow more information to be taught about how to respond to grief and how to help others. The creation of a one-day workshop entitled ‘Good Grief’ was then born. I followed the progress of the students as they attended the ‘Good Grief’ session and recorded their responses.

Once again I found that talking about grief was far from a depressing subject matter, on the contrary with CEDAR we learned about grief and how to handle it in a mature and positive way. Knowing from previous lessons that death is a ‘construction’, the young participants used their training to aid in their understanding of different types of loss and the history behind the idea of death. We learned together about our primal reasoning, which has evolved in the brain. We learned about the strength of aromatherapy; how we make associations with scents; and how they can be used to trigger positive responses and aid with stress. We learned about other cultures and their responses to death and dying and saw the different ways people respond to a member of their family passing away, such as the fascinating Bo people of Southwest China and the unexplained ways in which their tribe of people lived their lives. Most importantly, we were shown the possible ways we could deal with grief and how we need to recognise and react to grief in appropriate ways. We were also shown methods we could use to re-adjust and move forwards, such as through rituals that help celebrate life.

Overall the Young Health Champions expressed how they had benefited personally through the whole experience of learning with CEDAR and they voiced their perspective in this short film, which shows a glimpse of their time with CEDAR.