ICGB 2014

Welcome Message


Professor Cecilia Chan

BSocSc; MSocSc; PhD; RSW; JP
Chair, Organizing Committee of 10th ICGBCS
Si Yuan Professor of Health and Social Work
Head, Department of Social Work and Social Administration
The University of Hong Kong

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is my greatest pleasure to welcome you to the 10th International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society (ICGB) which will be held on 11 – 14 June, 2014 at the beautiful Centennial Campus of the University of Hong Kong. This year, the conference is organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Hong Kong. I am confident that you will find this year’s program a memorable and meaningful one. The theme of this year’s conference is “East Meets West: Expanding Frontiers and Diversity”. Death is inevitable for all yet little was done to educate and prepare individuals for the end of life. The fear of death and the agonizing loss of loved ones are found to create devastating impacts on individuals, families as well as communities. In view of the pressing need for life and death education especially in the Eastern context, 2014 ICGB brought seasoned scholars and practitioners from Asia. The Conference aims to foster international knowledge exchanges and research collaborations for improving the quality of life of individuals at their end-of-life as well as families going through grief and bereavement. Our vision is shared and supported by different government departments, academic institutions and various healthcare and social service organizations, local and international. With concerted effort, we hope to build a new horizon for our frontline multi-disciplinary practitioners in offering quality care to support our local, regional and national communities. On behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee, I would like to welcome all of you to join this most-valuable meeting where professional knowledge, insights and clinical skills on issues of loss, trauma and mortality will be shared. I sincerely hope that you will enjoy our exciting conference program featuring, pre-conference skill workshops, keynote and plenary speeches, parallel symposia, agency visits and cultural performances. Death should be valued, understood and demystified. Your support and active participation will surely make our conference a successful one. I look forward to seeing you all in the vibrant Hong Kong!


Dr Ko Wing-man, BBS, JP

Secretary for Food and Health
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government

I am delighted to learn that the 10th International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Societies will be held in Hong Kong. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is in full support for the Conference. Palliative care plays a key role in improving the quality of life of patients and their families when facing life-threatening and advanced progressive diseases. Emphasizing the alleviation of distressing symptoms, enhancement of quality of life and dignified death, it helps families to cope with the psychosocial stress and social needs in facing the death of their beloved one. Grief and bereavement management has significant economical and social benefits, as timely and proper treatment of unfavourable emotions could effectively prevent incidences of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic mental problems, which will have long-term impact on the productivity of the society and the well-being of the community as a whole. I am confident that the Conference will be an invaluable opportunity for experts and professionals in the field to exchange new insights and promote betterment of palliative and bereavement services. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation of the Organisation Committee of the Conference, and its efforts in promoting awareness of the psycho-social care needs of the bereaved and enhancing the standard of provision of bereavement care.




Ms Carol Yip, JP

Director of Social Welfare
Social Welfare Department
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government

It is the honour of the Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to be one of the co-organisers of the 10th International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Societies to be held in Hong Kong in June 2014.

To many people, dying is an inevitable but difficult part of their lives. Losing someone you love is also an extremely painful experience. Prolonged grief and bereavement, if unattended, will have life-long adverse impact on the survivors. In Hong Kong, many health care institutions, government departments and non-governmental organizations are providing highly professional end-of-life care to the individuals and support to their families based on the successful experience overseas and the development of local expertise from all the devoted experts over the years. In parallel with the increasing awareness of the psycho-social aspects of the palliative and bereavement care, we all understand the need to rejuvenate ourselves, to further expand our frontiers in providing quality care for the dying and support for those who grieve a loss, particularly the distress associated with the end-of-life caring process, and to enhance community understanding of end-of-life care.

The Conference will surely provide a useful platform for continuous competence building among the multi-disciplinary experts to provide better palliative and bereavement services based on a multi-dimensional and international perspective. To make the Conference a success, your esteemed sharings of specialised knowledge at the Conference is highly appreciated for they are our precious assets to widen our wisdom of life! Thank you all for your active participation in advance and let’s enjoy this meaningful venture in Hong Kong together!



Mr Matthew Cheung, GBS, JP

Secretary for Labour and Welfare
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the webpage of the 10th International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society in Hong Kong. Being the first of its kind coming to Asia, this triennial Conference will provide a prestigious international platform bringing together local and overseas social work practitioners and clinical psychologists to exchange experience and expertise on issues relating to professional practices and researches in respect of grief and bereavement counselling. To tie in with this special occasion, the Organising Committee of the Conference will roll out various community programmes in the run-up to the Conference to be held in June 2014. These efforts aim to promote public awareness and build capacity and resilience of our population on handling grief and bereavement. With a rapidly ageing population, I believe that the exchanges before and during the Conference will not only benefit the professionals but also provide good food for thought for many caregivers and members of the public in Hong Kong. Our citizens, whether young or old, need to strengthen their resilience in coping with, learning and growing through loss and sufferings in life. This international event provides a valuable opportunity for us to share our knowledge and experience on grief and bereavement. On behalf of the Labour and Welfare Bureau of the Hong Kong Administratice Region Government, I wish you all a rewarding and successful conference.