October is Cancer Awareness Month – a month to remind people about the importance of early screening and detection and how this can prevent the spread of Cancer. It is also an ideal time for patients and loved ones to get guidance on the medical treatment and diagnosis, as well as learning what support is available for all those who are affected. People living with Cancer may go through various Mental Health issues such as Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Trauma, etc – therefore, it is important to educate them about help & support for their mental wellbeing too.
“The Cancer diagnosis is a shock and needs to be processed as it has an emotional impact on the patient and their family. Often, the person with a history of Depression or Anxiety could experience increased emotional impact that could exacerbate the Depression or Anxiety further”, says Linda Greef from Cancer Care.
Often, people don’t realise how complex the interplay between different chronic health problems can be, or how they may contribute to Mental Health issues. Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Suicide Ideation, and Trauma can escalate if an individual is not equipped with healthy coping skills. Facebook Friday aims to educate people on how to get help, support loved ones, share self-help tips and most importantly – to empower those who are diagnosed in treatment or managing the illness. Knowledge is a vital tool in any fight.
The afternoon chat at 1pm – 2pm with Linda Greef who is an Oncology Social Worker from Cancer Care. The evening chat at 7pm – 8pm is with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Colinda Linde from the CBT Group in Johannesburg.
To join the chats, LIKE SADAG’s Facebook Page: The South African Depression and Anxiety Group. Facebook users that would like to remain anonymous can send a private message and SADAG will ask on their behalf.
For anyone who needs further help, SADAG provides FREE telephonic counselling and nationwide referrals to Support Groups, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Clinics, etc. Call 0800 70 80 90, or SMS 31393 which is open 7 days a week, every day of the year, from 8am - 8pm or visit www.sadag.org for more info.
How people living with Cancer can learn to cope with Mental Health Issues:
- Training in relaxation, meditation, or Stress management
- Counselling or talk therapy
- Cancer education sessions – attend a Support Group with those who share the same sentiments
- Take medications for Depression or Anxiety as prescribed by your expert
- Maintain good exercise and healthy diet
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