Today a new support service has been launched by Cancer Care West in collaboration with the National Cancer Control Programme and the Irish Cancer Society. The emergence of COVID-19 has added another layer of stress as cancer patients know that they may be in a higher risk group if they develop the virus. Added to this are the effects of isolation and cocooning, a completely unnatural way for people to live in 2020.
The organisations have come together to build a virtual community of care for people who are struggling with the emotional and psychological effects of living with cancer during this very challenging and uncertain time.
The free service will be available from anywhere in Ireland and can be accessed through a Freephone 1800 200 700. It includes a panel of experienced cancer counsellors, with connections to community cancer support centres across the country and a team of clinical psychologists from Cancer Care West. This will ensure that everyone, no matter what their level of distress, can access the right support, at the right time.
Dr Helen Greally, Clincal Psychologist who leads the support services at cancer Care West stated that ‘With this service there is the opportunity for cancer patients, their families and carers to access support from cancer nurses, their local cancer support centre staff, counsellors or clinical psychologists depending on the issue they are struggling with. We are all so pleased to be associated with this joint initiative as we believe it makes the best use of the expertise we have developed in community cancer support over the past 15 years’.