Western Sydney bereavement counsellor consults for national body

Mount Druitt Palliative and Supportive Care bereavement counsellor Kristin Bindley and social worker Carole Norman.

She provides counselling and support to families across Western Sydney at their time of need – and now Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) bereavement counsellor Kristin Bindley has been appointed as a social work consultant lead for Palliative Care Social Work Australia.

Launched in conjunction with National Palliative Care Week (May 24-30), Palliative Care Social Work Australia (PCSWA) is a national alliance of social workers to promote evidence based, high quality social work practice across all sectors of end of life care.

Kristin’s role with PCSWA will involve providing specialised input on bereavement, and promoting excellence in social work in palliative care, end of life care and grief.

Kristin will hold this role alongside her counselling role for WSLHD, where she coordinates and provides support for families, as well as education for staff and the community on grief and loss.

“I’m looking forward to promoting and supporting the contribution that social workers make to palliative care, end of life care and bereavement, and to collaborating with other like-minded colleagues on research and practice development,” Kristin said.

“Social workers are uniquely placed to work with the mix of physical, social, psychological and spiritual issues that shape experiences of people with life-limiting illness, and their families.

“I’m also delighted and proud to represent WSLHD in this capacity.”

Kristin studied social work and did a post graduate qualification in grief and trauma counselling, and is now a PhD candidate at the University of Technology Sydney.

Her PhD study focuses on experiences of bereaved carers with social welfare needs related to income support and housing after caring for someone with a terminal illness.

WSLHD has a specialist network of supportive and palliative care units across Sydney West Cancer Network providing specialised care to patients that require symptom control, pain management, respite and end of life care. For information about these services, click here.

Mount Druitt Hospital’s unit is one of 34 palliative care facilities across the state to be refurbished over the next two years, with planning underway for additional projects from 2021.

The NSW Government committed $10 million in 2019 for palliative care facility refurbishments, as part of a $45 million enhancement over four years for palliative care, announced in the 2019-20 NSW budget.