Through compassionate curiosity, the team at the Serious Illness and End-of-Life Narratives Lab embraces the power of personal narratives to transform traditional views of illness, caregiving, death, and grief
At the Serious Illness and End-of-Life Narratives Lab, our research and advocacy aim to enhance coping and mental well-being among people with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones. Our work focuses on existential quality of life and how people find hope, connection, meaning, and purpose amidst serious illness. We believe that each person has a meaningful message to share from their illness or caregiving experience. Through synthesizing the collective of narratives, we hope to advance knowledge about factors that promote dignity, control, and the ability to hold onto facets of one’s identity that nurture purpose. We are steadfast in our mission to advocate for better physical and mental health during medical treatment, recovery and/or at the end of life. Our ultimate vision is to move society forward in embracing discussions about illness, death, grief, and caregiving that promote hope, meaning, and personal choice.
Grand Challenges for Social Work
Facing a life-limiting illness can create a range from feelings from loneliness, depression, anxiety to hope, gratitude, and a sense of purpose. Additionally, based on one’s community and access to resources, such as insurance, transportation, physical and mental health education, disparities can emerge in the ability to receive physical and mental health care. The Serious Illness and End-of-Life Narratives Lab aims to improve physical and mental health of those with serious illnesses and their caregivers by adopting the following Social Work Grand Challenges: eradicate social isolation, close the health gap, and harness technology for social good.
For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story… And in stories, endings matter.