Developing Confident Life Stories about Child Bereavement: Normalising and Supporting Bereavement Experiences through Storytelling and Comics

This programme will explore the impact of bereavement on young people, supporting them to construct and represent their own stories through the medium of comics.  More than 75% of young people experience the death of someone close, with the figure even higher for vulnerable children.  Given the impacts of bereavement on wellbeing, including psychological health and educational achievement, this is a crucial issue.  While recent Scottish policy emphasises developing discourse and support, a culture of silence around bereavement remains.  Comics are an ideal medium for storytelling, with the combination of image and text providing an accessible creative space for expression.  The process of creating comics helps generate confident life stories, which will be used to support professionals and carers, inform national policy on childhood bereavement, and normalise discussions of bereavement more generally.

Programme Team:

Dr Golnar Nabizadeh (University of Dundee) – Comics and Visual Literacy
Dr Susan Rasmussen (University of Strathclyde) – Health Psychology
Professor Christopher Murray (University of Dundee) – Comic Studies
Professor Divya Jindal-Snape (University of Dundee) – Chair of Education, Inclusion and Life Transitions
Dr Damon Herd (Dundee Comics Creative Space) – Autobiographical Comics and Comics Performance
Philip Vaughn (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design) – Practice and Production in Animation
Dr Sally Paul (University of Strathclyde) – Public Health, Death, Dying and Bereavement
Judith Furnival (CELCIS) – Residential Childcare, Suicide and Care Leavers
Nina Vaswani (CYCJ) – Youth Justice, Bereavement and Loss

Image: Jindal-Snape, D et al.  Fibromyalgia and Us. UniVerse, 2017.

Author: scotinsight

The Scottish Universities Insight Institute supports programmes of knowledge exchange which address and provide insight on substantial issues that face Scotland and the wider world. Our programmes break down disciplinary and organisational barriers in bringing together academics from different backgrounds, policymakers and practitioners. We mobilise existing knowledge in fresh ways through sustained and collaborative focus on a shared issue and aim to support decision makers in all sectors of society in being better informed. Our partner universities are: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Heriot Watt, St Andrews, Stirling, Strathclyde, and Associate Member Glasgow School of Art.

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