Improving community access through translation: By My Side bereavement resource

25 March 2019
Illustration of a couple comforting each other

Existing bereavement support for families, friends, community members and health professionals affected by childhood cancer now includes three additional translations of the audio-visual By My Side resource, aided by a Multilingual Information Projects grant from the South East Sydney Local Health District.

The By My Side bereavement resource was launched in 2016 by researchers at the Behavioural Sciences Unit (BSU) at the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, in collaboration with bereaved parents and Redkite.   

The resource, initially released as a book and later with an accompanying video, was developed based on research from the BSU’s Compass program, led by Dr Leigh Donovan.

“The Compass study involved 119 bereaved parents from four childhood cancer clinics in Australia, who generously shared their experiences with us through questionnaires or phone interviews.  From these responses it became clear that a common theme was emerging: the importance of peer support in the lives of bereaved parents, as these are the only people who truly understand what they are going through,” said Dr Donovan.

The By My Side resource describes the experiences, feelings and opinions of bereaved mothers and fathers in their own words, sharing their stories in order to support other parents in bereavement.  The resource also provides support and gentle advice for families, communities and health care workers, and is one of the first examples of a peer-informed bereavement resource in Australia. 

Following the release of the book, which can be ordered free of charge through Redkite, quotes and stories have been illustrated in an accompanying video. The video has been watched over 2000 times since its launch in 2017, and has been translated into Mandarin and Italian, two of the top ten languages spoken in the local area.  With new funding from the South East Sydney Local Health District Multicultural Health Grants Program, the video will also be translated into Arabic, Greek and Cantonese, further extending the community reach of the video.

The research team are also in the process of evaluating the resources, collecting feedback from bereaved parents, families, friends, community members and healthcare professionals. If you have watched the By My Side video  and would like to provide feedback you can do so here.

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