Patients call for greater psychological support

Cancer patients on the Sunshine Coast are calling for greater psychological support, with one in eight callers to the Cancer Council Helpline reaching out for assistance with managing cancer-related distress.

More than 110 Sunshine Coast residents have called the Helpline so far this year to seek psychological or emotional support.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift the high number of calls was a reminder of the urgent need to address the mental health challenges of a cancer diagnosis.

“Up to one third of all cancer survivors suffer clinically significant distress, and many more are in vital need of emotional support following diagnosis and treatment,” Ms Clift said.

“We know the majority of cancer survivors experiencing distress don’t seek the help they need to overcome emotional or psychological challenges.

“It’s encouraging for our Helpline to have received such a high number of calls related to mental health challenges, and it reinforces the crucial need for this support clinically.”

Ms Clift said Cancer Council Queensland’s Cancer Counselling Service was available for Queenslanders experiencing significant cancer-related distress.

“All Queenslanders affected by cancer can access Cancer Council Queensland’s specialised cancer counselling service, staffed by qualified psychologists,” Ms Clift said.

“The statewide service is provided free of charge in a range of settings, including phone, face-to-face and family counselling sessions.

“Patients and their loved ones can get referrals from their health professional or simply by calling the CCQ Helpline on 13 11 20.”

Ms Clift said the Helpline was a free call* from anywhere in Queensland and also offered information, resources and connection to support programs and advocacy services for those affected by cancer.

Since January, more than 1050 calls to Cancer Council’s Helpline were made from the Sunshine Coast alone – around 59 per cent of callers were getting in touch with the service for the first time.

Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (excluding public holidays), 13 11 20 exists thanks to the generous donations, support and contributions of Queenslanders.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.