Coun­selling ser­vice to help can­cer pa­tients and fam­i­lies

Central and North Burnett Times - - OPIN­ION | YOUR SAY -

DUR­ING the cur­rent Covid-19 pan­demic, can­cer pa­tients and their fam­i­lies have had to nav­i­gate an al­ready dif­fi­cult time, with added pres­sure. From hav­ing doc­tor ap­point­ments move on­line or over the phone, to not be­ing able to be close with friends or fam­ily, those im­pacted by can­cer are more iso­lated than ever.

Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land se­nior psy­chol­o­gist Tracey Gard­ner said the im­pacts of can­cer, as well as cop­ing with the cur­rent cir­cum­stances, could have great ef­fect on a per­son’s well­be­ing. “Can­cer and its treat­ment have broad rang­ing ef­fects – phys­i­cal, emo­tional, prac­ti­cal, fi­nan­cial and men­tal,” Ms Gard­ner said.

“Dur­ing the cur­rent Covid-19 pan­demic, can­cer pa­tients and their fam­i­lies may be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ad­di­tional stress and anx­i­ety, es­pe­cially for those who can­not be close to their sup­port net­works dur­ing this time.

Ms Gard­ner said that they could be re­as­sured that the Can­cer Coun­selling Ser­vice, which has pro­vided both faceto-face and tele­phone coun­selling and group pro­grams to Queens­lan­ders af­fected by can­cer since 2004, re­mains a con­stant in th­ese chang­ing times.

Since tem­po­rar­ily ceas­ing faceto-face coun­selling and pro­grams in line with gov­ern­ment ad­vice, the Can­cer Coun­selling Ser­vice is de­liv­er­ing all coun­selling ses­sions via tele­phone, and plan­ning to de­liver sev­eral on­line re­lax­ation, mind­ful­ness and other work­shops in the com­ing weeks.

Ms Gard­ner said the ser­vice had pro­duced two can­cer and Covid-19 tip sheets to as­sist those af­fected by can­cer and their fam­ily man­age un­cer­tainty. Th­ese can be down­loaded from the CCQ web­site.

“Can­cer doesn’t stop, so nei­ther do we. It is im­por­tant for us to find dif­fer­ent ways to con­tinue to sup­port those im­pacted by can­cer,” Ms Gard­ner said.

More in­for­ma­tion for pa­tients and fam­i­lies is avail­able via can­cerqld.org.au. For fur­ther sup­port and in­for­ma­tion, call con­tact 13 11 20.

CAN­CER DOESN’T STOP, SO NEI­THER DO WE. IT IS IM­POR­TANT FOR US TO FIND DIF­FER­ENT WAYS TO CON­TINUE TO SUP­PORT THOSE IM­PACTED BY CAN­CER.

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