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European Grief Conference 2022

european grief conference denmark 2022

IHF are proud to partner with Bereavement Network Europe, the Danish National Centre for Grief and Aaruhus University in organising the first European Grief Conference to be held in Denmark this September. Held at the Tivoli Congress Centre in Copenhagen, it’s expected to bring together more than 400 researchers and practitioners working in the area of grief.

When: 21-23 September
Where: Tivoli Congress Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark

The conference is attracting great interest and with more than 100 presentations and posters from 16 countries, the programme is set to be very varied. The conference’s keynote speakers are internationally renowned researchers and practitioners from 5 different countries in Europe: 

  • Dr. Lucy Selman, (who presented at IHF Forum 2021) Bristol, is a researcher and director of the Good Grief Festival – a virtual festival of love & loss.  
  • Prof. Dr. Paul A. Boelen from Utrecht and Prof. Dr. Birgit Wagner from Berlin are two grief researchers focusing on the treatment of complicated grief 
  • Debbie Kerslake was the director of Cruse Bereavement Care in the UK with 5000 volunteers.  
  • Two researchers from Denmark Prof. Dr. Brady Wagoner and Dr. Alan Køster will address grief from cultural, philosophical and societal perspectives.  
  • Director Alba Payás from the institute IPIR in Barcelona has both a treatment and training focus on complicated grief.  

From Irish Hospice Foundation:

  • Amanda Roberts will present: Development of a national framework for bereavement care. A structure to support policy and planning in Ireland’
  • Maura Keating, Irish Childhood Bereavement Network will present: Resources to empower parents support young children after a suicide death
  • Elizabeth Hutcheson, Arts & Creative Engagement Officer will host an Arts & Creative Engagement Experiential Workshop exploring how creative engagement can encourage deeper conversations about dying, death, and loss, especially during a crisis. Filmed examples of completed projects will be included.
  • Orla Keegan, Head of Bereavement & Education will present work co-authored with Philip Dodd and Sarah Woods: National public bereavement information and support campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Orla Keegan will present work co-authored with Irene Murphy (on behalf of EAPC Bereavement Taskforce): Bereavement Care – a European social and psychological model?
  • Breffni McGuiness, National Bereavement Development Specialist will present: Supporting front line health workers experiencing grief in COVID-19 through digital eLearning resources
  • Breffni McGuiness will present: Responding to suicide bereavement in the workplace – Developing national resources for employers and unions
  • Orla Keegan will present work co-authored with Helen Coughlan: Changed Utterly? Findings from a national survey on public perceptions of and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on attitudes to death and grief in Ireland.

IHF Posters at the conference include:

  • Challenges and Changes providing information, research and dissemination during the COVID-19 pandemic, presented by librarian Lorraine Curran
  • Learnings from a Covid-era National Bereavement Support Line, presented by Catherine Tierney, Clinical Development Coordinator
  • Challenges and adaptions in bereavement care provision during a global pandemic: A national survey of Irish service providers, presented by Amanda Roberts
  • Raising Awareness and Responding to the Needs of Bereaved Children, presented by Maura Keating
  • Complicated grief in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland: findings from a large national survey, presented by Helen Coughlan
  • Seeing both sides of loss: Irish health and social care workers’ experiences of end-of-life care and bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings from a national survey, presented by Helen Coughlan

Background to the Conference

Bereaved people need support, information and care from family, friends, colleagues or perhaps from volunteer bereavement support.  A minority (up to two out of ten bereaved adults) can develop a form of complicated grief reaction. If these people do not receive the right treatment, they can suffer serious illness, with major personal and socio-economic consequences. Unfortunately, bereavement is generally overlooked in our society today, and there is no guarantee that people will get the help and support they need.  

The field of bereavement research and support has only recently been considered an independent field of study and practice. There is therefore not a long history of exchange of knowledge among professionals within the field, let alone across countries. This new European Grief Conference will help to rectify this. The aim of the conference is to contribute to a shared understanding of grief by exchanging knowledge to improve bereavement care across Europe.  

Denmark is one of the European countries helping to advance the field of grief research and support practices. The Danish National Board of Health has appointed the Danish National Center for Grief (DNCG) to help disseminate knowledge and do training in bereavement care in Denmark.  DNCG also aims to foster a more coherent grief response so that bereaved people in need of care are not overlooked. The Danish National Center for Grief is one of the initiators and organizers of EGC2022 in close collaboration with the Department of Psychology at Aarhus University, Bereavement Network Europe and Irish Hospice Foundation in Dublin.  

“It is crucial that we exchange knowledge and experiences from different countries and grief cultures, so that we can learn from each other and gain a better understanding of the many facets of grief. That is why I am also pleased that there has been so much interest in and support to the conference so far from both researchers and practitioners across Europe. ”

says Preben Engelbrekt, MD of the Danish National Centre for Grief. 

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is patron of the Danish National Center for Grief.  In support of the organisation’s work, she has used her own personal story of grief to contribute to a better understanding of grief and its impact. Crown Princess Mary will open EGC22 with a recorded welcome address to the conference delegates and expresses in that connection: 

“I am pleased that the initiative has been taken to organise the very first European Grief Conference and that it is being held here in Denmark.  It is a forum where practitioners and researchers can exchange knowledge and experiences with respect to bereavement and bereavement care. The personal and societal costs of living with grief knows no borders. We know that grief shows itself in many ways and is expressed differently in different cultures, however by creating a common platform where experts from Europe can come together, we can also gain important insights to better understand and support bereaved people.” 

The conference will focus on a need-based approach to bereaved people that includes preventive and supportive approaches to grief as well as clinical treatment, and the importance of grief culture for the bereaved.

See the full programme and register on 

The second European Grief Conference will be held in Ireland in 2024

To learn about other conferences related to dying, death and bereavement, visit our Conferences page.