We at Cancer Support UK feel passionately that Cancer patients are being failed post-treatment, shown by the fact that currently 3 in every 4 cancer patients report having unmet needs, especially emotionally and psychologically.
We want to change this.
There are currently approximately 2.5 million people with cancer in the UK. So whilst great progress is being made helping people to live longer, the challenge we face at Cancer Support UK, is helping the ever increasing number of people living with cancer.
A recent Public Health England study found cancer patients are 5 times more likely to be at increased risk of suicide. Once physical treatment ends, cancer patients are often discharged with no support to manage the ongoing emotional challenges.
Cancer Coach is a unique service using Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques (the most talking therapy intervention used in the NHS) to empower cancer patients to take back a feeling of self-worth and control in their lives.
Cancer Coach will help volunteers and participants develop self-help skills to improve their well-being, both during treatment and post-discharge.
“Having both cancer and a mental health condition is related to poorer quality of life, increased risk of death (including by suicide), poorer treatment adherence and outcomes, and higher healthcare costs.
Therefore, preventing depression and anxiety amongst those living with cancer and other physical health conditions must be a priority.” https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/cancer-and-mental-health-public-health-challenge.
Cancer Coach offers cancer patients a free-of-charge, accessible means to access emotional and peer support both during treatment, and after discharge to develop the confidence and emotional strength to return to life, such as to stay in work. It also gives them skills and tools to use beyond the end of the course, empowering them to improve longer-term mental health.
Inequalities in health and well-being provision across the UK mean that some patients - based on where they live - have better access to, and receive higher quality health care than others.
Since Cancer Coach is delivered over the phone, there is no such postcode lottery and location is not an impediment to anyone, anywhere in the UK, accessing the service.
There are no other telephone peer support groups for resilience and emotional support for cancer patients, open to anyone who has undergone any cancer treatment, currently on offer in the UK
The programme has been endorsed by clinical experts in the field of oncology and CBT, including Dr Stirling Moorey, BSc, FRCPsych - Consultant Psychiatrist in CBT at the London Maudsley, who said “Cancer Coach is a really exciting initiative and hugely promising for this patient group. This type of service is just what people need and delivering this support by phone is highly cost-effective”