The Death Literacy Index

The Blue Mountains is the first community in the world to be invited to measure and understand our death literacy. The Death literacy Index will tell us who we are and what we have as a community when it comes to caring for people at end of life, and show us ways in which to move forward. It is available to us as a result of the ‘Our Compassionate Community’ partnership between The Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network, The GroundSwell Project and Western Sydney University.

For the results of the survey to be useful to us locally, we need to get as many people as possible to complete the survey. It will take you approximately 15 minutes to complete it. We need your help to spread the word too.

Click the button below to take the survey now, it will take you to the universities confidential survey site.

About the Index:
Western Sydney University and The Groundswell Project have partnered to build on existing research and practice relationships to develop a benchmarking tool to measure death literacy. The Death Literacy Index will provide a population-based measure of death literacy which will enable us to a) determine current levels of death literacy at whole of population and local levels and b) measure the impact of local and wide-scale initiatives.

Death literacy is knowledge about, and understanding of, the death system. The resulting skills strengthen individual and community capacity to take action and care for one another at times of dying, death, loss and grief. It is part of the new public health framework in which citizens are central to decision-making about, and access to, end of life and death care options. Death literacy has four components; skills, knowledge, experiential learning and social action and all provide a framework for behavioural and systemic change. Compassionate communities recognise that illness, ageing, dying, death, and loss are social processes.

Compassionate communities develop and implement social networks, social spaces, social policies, social conduct and services that support people through the many hours, days, weeks, months and sometimes years of living with a life-threatening or life limiting illness, ageing, grief and bereavement, and long-term caregiving.

The GroundSwell Project has received funding for this research from The Wicking Trust and has partnered with Western Sydney University to develop the DLI. The broader research team also includes researchers from Queensland University of Technology and La Trobe University. This study has received ethical approval from Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee H12185.