The variety of emotional responses to terminal illness, community disasters, and deaths that become media events, such as the recent Jonesboro, Ark., schoolyard slayings, are among the topics that "Living with Grief: Who We Are, How We Grieve" teleconference participants will explore on Wednesday, April 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30p.m. at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Representatives from about 2,000 organizations across the United States will join Santa Barbarans in a panel discussion about the influence of
culture, spirituality, gender, and age on the experience of loss and the expression of grief.
Shane Jimerson, director of Project LOSS at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will lead a discussion on cross-cultural differences concerning death and dying; child and adolescent bereavement and the family; and appropriate interventions following the teleconference at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
"The local discussion will focus on concerns that Santa Barbara participants may have after the teleconference---perspectives on the grieving process as perceived through our own cultural and religious beliefs. It's different from community to community," says Jimerson, assistant professor of developmental studies and counseling, clinical, and school psychology in the Graduate School of Education. "As professionals who focus on facilitating healthy grieving, we try to address this complex process, particularly for children, in a developmentally appropriate, honest and direct way."
Cokie Roberts, news correspondent for ABC and NPR, will moderate
the two-and-one-half-hour panel discussion with Ronald K. Barrett, professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles; Kenneth J. Doka, professor of gerontology at the College of New Rochelle; Bernice C. Harper, medical care advisor at the Health Care Financing Administration; Patricia A. Murphy, clinical specialist in ethics and bereavement at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; and Bradley H. Stuart, medical director of the VNA and Hospice of Northern California.
The teleconference, in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital's conference rooms C& D, is presented by Cottage Health Systems, Hospice of Santa Barbara, and UCSB's Graduate School of Education. For information, call 569-7325.