Sometimes it is difficult to take a public stand on an issue. You might feel strong one way or another, but you know that taking a public stance could possibly hinder the amount of business that you do. It is pretty evident in America right now that if you flew a Trump 2020 flag in your parking lot. . . you would show where you stand on the political side, but I would guess that it might cause some potential client families with an opposite view to think twice about using your business when needed.
While that may not be the best example I could think of, there are issues that taking a stance and helping those who suffer from the consequences of those issues is just the right thing to do. And, funeral homes and funeral directors cannot simply put their heads in the sand without trying to be part of the solution to a problem.
I noticed an article over the weekend where an individual from a funeral service corporation has seen an issue, felt very strongly about it, and is trying to do something so others either have help or understand how the decisions that they make may affect them for a long time.
What I noticed was in this article whereby I learned that Australia’s largest death care provider, InvoCare, through the work of human resources director Amanda Tober realized that many times the company, as a funeral home, was on the front lines of seeing the consequences of domestic violence. Tober and the company not only took a stance to build out their resources in helping those victims of domestic violence, but started working from within the organization to allow for a better understanding for employees and their support of family networks that may include domestic violence and mental health.
The article mentions how the COVID-19 pandemic apparently has had an impact on domestic violence also — increasing its incidence.. It appears that with more people working from home and financial stress caused by the pandemic, domestic violence has risen sharply. While our efforts have been concentrated on the COVID-19 pandemic and our response as individual funeral homes and as a profession towards the compassionate care of those who have suffered loss, it is becoming very apparent that domestic violence and mental health have not taken a break from their negative grips on society.
The article also states “Between January and August, referrals to the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre jumped 189% compared with the previous year, while phone calls rose by 55% in the same period. Across the border in Victoria, a survey by Monash University found over 50% of domestic violence workers have reported an increase in the frequency and severity of incidents.”
And what about violence in the workplace? Here’s what Tober said about managers approaching employees with the conversation:
“It’s a really tricky one because I don’t think there’s any perfect roadmap or playbook through that conversation.” But what we have learned is that acknowledging the situation is a really good place to start.
The next step is being supportive and listening in a non-judgmental way. Then, where you can try to help the individual get to a point where they create a safety plan that works for them.”
According to the article “InvoCare has further training planned for the company’s workplace-nominated trained responders, a role which sits parallel with the executive and HR team. The company also plans to launch a Community Action Group to continue the conversation around domestic violence, bringing together employees and members of the local community.”
It’s imperative that when we as owners, managers, and employees see something that just isn’t right we need to take the lead to move in the right direction about correcting the issue. It’s not always easy to do, but it is required of all of us. . . .and, we will live in a better place if we can move the issue forward.
More news from the world of Death Care:
- North Iowa Nitty Gritty: Wilbert Burial Vault workers constantly reckon with death. Globe Gazette (IA)
- Granville Cemetery first in Licking County to offer “natural burial” option. Newark Advocate (NJ)
- Duster Funeral Home in Tarentum commits to eco-friendly practices. Trib Live (PA)
- Covid-19: Funeral directors make urgent request to be classified as essential workers. Stuff (New Zealand.
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