What is psychosocial support?
The term psychosocial refers to the different mental, emotional, social and spiritual factors which can impact on a person’s overall wellbeing and quality of life.
People affected by cancer may face a range of psychological and social challenges. These may include things like emotional distress and changes to how you think about yourself, impact on your relationships and social functioning, worries about work, and financial difficulties. There are a range of support services available for people affected by cancer to address these psychosocial needs, such as specialist psychological services, group support, spiritual support, carers assessments and health and wellbeing information.
In the video below, we discuss emotional wellbeing, how to cope with our emotions and feelings, and suggestions of where to get help.
How can I get psychosocial support?
A diagnosis of cancer and the experiences that follow can be understandably distressing. You may find it helpful to access the support of friends, family and peers as well as organisations such as Macmillan, Maggie’s, and other cancer charities.
Your cancer team are also there to support you, particularly the cancer clinical nurse specialists who are trained to provide psychological support. Your cancer care team can talk through what’s concerning you and signpost you to different types of support that may be useful to you.
Cancer Care Map
Cancer Care Map is a website that signposts anyone living with or affected by cancer in the UK to local and national care and support services. It is run by the Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund and was developed by people living with cancer, their loved ones and healthcare staff.
Visit https://www.cancercaremap.org/ for more information.
How are we improving psychosocial support for people affected by cancer?
In 2022, we mapped the current psychosocial support available for people affected by cancer across North East London.
We spoke to:
- Patients and carers
- The three hospital Trusts in north east London providing cancer care (Barking Havering & Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust, Barts Health NHS Trust and Homerton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust,), including specialist psychological services, lead cancer nurses, and personalised care teams.
- Cancer Charities
- NHS Community Talking Therapies
- St Joseph’s Hospice and St Francis Hospice
This mapping helped us to understand the current gaps and areas for development. We are now actioning our 2023/2024 Psychosocial Development Plan which aims to address these gaps and look more closely at some of the inequities across the region. Our aim is for anyone affected by cancer to be offered appropriate and timely psychosocial support.
Struggling with anxiety?
Chat with trained peer support coaches for free. Call 0300 030 5687 or visit www.knus.io
What other support is available?
You can access a range of services in your local area to help you along your journey, such as housing, nutrition and financial support.
Good Thinking supports Londoners to look after their mental health and wellbeing. It has a range of free support and resources on their website: https://www.good-thinking.uk/