We need to talk about death’ film starring students with learning disabilities launches ahead of Dying Matters Week

Ahead of Dying Matters Week, with its theme this year around the importance of having conversations around death and dying, NHS Somerset has launched a unique film made by and with adults with learning disabilities called We Need to Talk About Death.

The film was made with a group of adults with learning disabilities from My Day Care Services by biggerhouse film. The film aims to help remove the taboos that often arises around talking about death and dying and open up conversations with carers, family and friends.

It covers issues such as

  • What are other words for death and dying?
  • Why don’t people like talking about death and dying?
  • What is a good life?
  • What are 3 things you would like to do before you die?

The actors were involved in a series of workshops to develop the storylines for the film as well as acting in the film. (The main films and shorter films all have a BSL, and audio described versions).

Rachel Donne-Davis, Learning from Lives and Deaths (LeDeR) Local Area Lead at NHS Somerset who commissioned the film says;

“One thing we noticed in our work is how often people with learning disabilities and autistic people were protected from conversations about death and dying. Often done with the best of intentions, this overprotection often meant that it was difficult for people to talk about what was important to them in terms of death, dying and bereavement.

“We wanted to work with a group of people with learning disabilities to identify what was important to them and encourage others to start a conversation. We believe this film will be a powerful resource for everyone, not just people with learning disabilities, to encourage them to engage with what can be a really difficult subject.