This International Men’s Day, we spoke to Aaron, who heads up our Bereavement, Listening & Talking Therapies (BLTT) service, about what support we can offer and why men may be underrepresented when it comes to receiving bereavement support.
“The BLTT service offers support to people who have experienced loss, for example through being a family member or carer of a person who received our care, or perhaps they might have a diagnosis themselves and need some support through that journey. The service is made up of paid counsellors, and volunteer counsellors and listeners, who offer in-person and remote one-to-one counselling, and group therapy.
In line with nationwide trends, we find that only a small percentage of men are accessing our bereavement services, making up just 27% of our referrals to our Bereavement, Listening & Talking Therapies (BLTT) service last year.
Historically, when you look at statistics, men are underrepresented in terms of attending group therapy sessions or one-to-one counselling, or just wanting to sit down and have a chat about how they’re feeling.
I think it’s a societal thing and has been this way for centuries – men may feel they are expected to be ‘strong’ by dealing with things on their own, whereas opening up about loss and being able to express your emotions is in fact a huge show of strength. I do sense things are improving, though. Men now have more platforms to be able to access support and talk about their emotions, whether it’s social media or group meet ups.
We also know that lots of people have misconceptions about what a hospice is, and the idea of receiving counselling in a hospice setting might seem scary for some. We want people to know that there’s so much more to hospice care and our buildings are full of life – they are really are warm and friendly places offering support that could make such a difference for local people who are struggling.
At Rennie Grove Peace, we have plans to develop a men’s bereavement group to encourage more local men to take advantage of bereavement support when they need it, as we continue to develop our Bereavement, Listening & Talking Therapies service to benefit local people.
Click here to find out more about our support.