Greater Charitable Foundation is supporting CanTeen’s new Family Support Project; a program to improve the wellbeing of families when a parent has cancer.
Every year, another 21,000 young people aged 12-25 hear the devastating news that their parent has cancer. CanTeen research shows that they’re three to six times more likely to face mental health issues like depression and anxiety than their friends. By supporting parents with cancer, we’re not only helping them cope, but also improving the mental health and wellbeing of the entire family.
A fulltime social worker will support parents when they are treated with cancer in hospital. A key focus will be working with parents to improve open and honest communication about cancer within the family, which is a key need of adolescent and young adult children. The social worker will also connect families with the support services CanTeen can provide locally through their Newcastle office, as well as CanTeen’s Online Support Platform, where young people can access counselling and peer support 24/7. Alongside that CanTeen will undertake a study to further explore the impact of cancer on family dynamics and identify additional support options. The study findings combined with insights from the social worker will provide the basis for an information guide specifically designed for parents with cancer who have children aged between 12-25. It will help parents talk to their family about cancer and act as a companion through this challenging time.
The Family Support project will improve mental health and wellbeing of families dealing with a parent’s cancer. It will also help to improve communication and relationships within the family during one of the toughest challenges they are likely to face.
The information guide will be an ongoing resource that will also be available electronically to ensure that families in rural and regional areas can draw on support regardless of where they live.
Oli, offspring member, aged 17
“Joining CanTeen has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, it’s had a massive impact on my life. CanTeen helped me with the way I cope with cancer. [It] made me realise that there are other people in the same boat as me and that I could express how I felt. It feels like one big family and I’m grateful for what CanTeen has done for me.”
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