Psychosocial Support for Childhood Cancer Survivors

In this episode, Dr Leila Ellis welcomes Nicola O’Donnell to the podcast to discuss psychosocial support for childhood cancer survivors. Nicola is a Health Psychologist and is completing the final year of a PhD with the University of York exploring psychoeducation interventions for young people with retinoblastoma funded by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT).

Resources:

Charities:

  • ⁠The Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Trust (TYAC)⁠⁠: TYAC is part of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and offers specialised support for teenagers and young adults with cancer, including counselling 
  • ⁠Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund⁠: offer family-wide support including a 24-hour phone line, local community support in your area, and grants for professional counselling
  • ⁠Place2Be⁠⁠: offer children and young people’s mental health support at school
  • ⁠Maggie’s Centres⁠⁠: Maggie’s Centres have have several locations across the UK and provide free practical, emotional, and social support to people with cancer, including children and teenagers
  • ⁠Rainbow Trust⁠⁠: offer whole family support including a space to listen to family’s fears and anxieties, helping to explain illnesses, diagnoses and treatments, support through grief and bereavement
  • ⁠Winston’s Wish⁠⁠: helps children, teenagers and young adults when experiencing grief
  • ⁠Together for Short Lives⁠⁠: provide a phone line for any parent, carer or professional who looks after or knows a child or young person who is expected to have a shorter life expectancy
  • ⁠Child Bereavement UK⁠⁠: support families when a child grieves or when a child dies. Including a helpline, or face-to-face support in certain locations

Support lines:

  • ⁠IAM (Teenage Cancer Trust)⁠⁠: emotional and clinical support tool for young people who’ve had cancer
  • ⁠Connect (Teenage Cancer Trust)⁠⁠: supportive online community for young people going through or recovering from cancer
  • Young Lives vs. Cancer: phone 0300 303 5220 or email ⁠getsupport@younglivesvscancer.org.uk⁠
  • Macmillan: call 0808 808 00 00 or chat online
  • Child Death Helpline: phone 0800 282 986 for free telephone service for anyone affected by the death of a child
  • Young Minds: text ‘YM’ to 85258 for free 24/7 support
  • The Mix – Crisis Messenger: text THEMIX to 85258 for free 24/7 crisis support across the UK
  • Samaritans: phone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org for 24/7 free support
  • Shout: text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 for free 24/7 support
  • ⁠NHS psychological therapies (IAPT)⁠ (18+): self-referral for free talking therapies

Book recommendation:

  • A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney

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