Death and grief are still taboo subjects in our society.

Bereaved men, in particular, may find it difficult to ask for help, with figures showing they are half as likely as women to seek support for their mental health.

There are some signs of a shift, however, with high-profile men opening up about grief, notably widowed footballer Rio Ferdinand, and Princes William and Harry.

At this event, chaired by Louise Chunn, founder of and former editor of Psychologies, Good Housekeeping and InStyle, our speakers will explore how men grieve, the challenges they face and the support they need.

PAUL JOHNSON is a freelance journalist and the widowed husband of Simone Cave, former health editor at the Daily Mirror and a best-selling author of a range of baby and childcare books. Simone died very suddenly in 2012 and since her death, Paul has concentrated on bringing up their three children alongside work and home obligations and piecing together a new future for himself and his family. 

JULIA SAMUEL is a psychotherapist who has spent the last 25 years working with bereaved families. In 1994, she established Child Bereavement UK as its Founder Patron, where she continues to play a central role. Her bestselling book, Grief Works, was published in March 2017. Julia will describe differences between the ways men and women grieve. 

ANDREW G MARSHALL is the UK’s best-known marital therapist and author of 19 self-help books. Last year, to mark the 20th anniversary of his partner’s death, he published My Mourning Year, covering the final illness, the first year of bereavement, the mistakes he made and what helped his recovery. Andrew believes our culture’s difficulty with talking about death means most widows and widowers don’t receive enough support and is campaigning for the bereaved to have a mourning year. In June, he will publish The Power of Dog: How getting a puppy helped heal a grieving heart

TOBY AND SACHA LANGTON-GILKS’ eldest son David, known as DD, died at home of a cancerous brain tumour in 2012, following five years of treatment.  Sacha is a singing teacher, gardener and supporter of The Brain Tumour Charity’s Headsmart Campaign. She has recently written the first practical guide for parents and young people facing end of life: Follow the Child: Planning and Having the Best End of Life Care for Your Child. Toby is an Emmy-nominated composer who created a music course at HMP Guys Marsh, which has helped some of the most disruptive and violent inmates go on to win recording contracts and stay out of crime.  

Date:      Tuesday 20 March 2018

Time:     6.30pm, registration

               7pm, presentations, followed by light refreshments

Venue:   Warren Suite, Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street, London W1W 6JJ

Tickets: £10 Guild members, £15 non-member guests – to book your ticket/s, please contact the Guild office

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‘The Guild of Health Writers would like to thank Bio-Kult for their generous sponsorship of this event and would like to state that this is an independent event. In accordance with its objectives, the Guild aims to provide a balanced, non-partisan forum for discussion and does not endorse any commercial products.’