The Troubles, the COVID Pandemic, Unexpected Death and Complex Grief
In a webinar on 4 March hosted by University of Notre Dame, USA, School of SSESW academic Dr Michael Duffy outlined a model of prolonged, complicated grief in discussing the impact of mass-casualty events and societal trauma and the importance of addressing their mental health consequences. The webinar was the Queen’s University contribution to the Global Irish Network Series facilitated by Notre Dame. A video of the event is available at The Troubles, the COVID Pandemic, Unexpected Death and Complex Grief.
Michael was joined by fellow speaker Dr Ciaran Mulholland (Centre for Medical Education at Queen’s University and a consultant psychiatrist) and the moderator was Dr Anne Campbell (Social Work, SSESW).
Northern Ireland’s Troubles left nearly 4000 dead and tens of thousands of bereaved relatives. Each death was sudden, unexpected and unnecessary. The COVID-19 pandemic has now cost over 2.5 million lives globally and each death was also sudden, unexpected and unnecessary. We can learn much about grief and trauma from our experience of the Northern Ireland conflict. A society cannot move on unless traumatised individuals are offered optimal treatments.
Michael Duffy (pictured below) is a cognitive psychotherapist specialising in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and complex grief. He is Director of our MSc (Trauma) in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is recognised worldwide as an expert on the psychological impact of trauma. He led the work and research of the Trauma Team after the Omagh bombing in 1998 and facilitated studies into the psychological effects on staff providing health care in the immediate aftermath. He provided workshops on PTSD for therapists working with other large scale traumas that led to elevated rates of both post-traumatic stress disorder and complicated or complex grief including the 9/11 Twin Towers attack, the Oslo bombing and Utoya Island shootings and the Manchester concert bombing.