December 14, 2016

Self-help groups

Organised groups, where people with cancer and their families meet others in a similar situation, can be helpful. This is often the first chance that people have to discuss their experiences with other people living with cancer.

These groups can be a source of information and support, and can provide an opportunity for people to talk about their feelings. Some groups are run by health professionals, doctors and nurses, counsellors or psychotherapists in a hospital. More commonly, people with cancer run the groups. They often offer different techniques and coping strategies, together with relaxation or visualisation. They can also be a good source of practical information and emotional support.

If you’re interested in joining a group but are unsure about whether it would help, make some enquiries about it first. Or you could go to a meeting to see what it‘s like before joining. You may feel more comfortable if you take a relative or friend along with you. But if you feel it’s not for you, you don’t have to go again. You may find it more helpful and supportive to find someone you can speak with individually on a regular basis.