The Cancer Council has reminded people who are affected by cancer that a range of information and support services are available during the holiday season.
People can face many challenges such as loneliness, isolation and sadness- which is even more challenging at a time that is traditionally focused on celebration.
The Cancer Council Online Community provides people currently living with cancer, cancer survivors, families, carers, friends and the wider community the opportunity to connect, share experiences and find information in a safe forum.
Anyone seeking information can view the content within the website, including blogs, online discussions, and all public information.
However only community members can engage on the platform for example comment, publish blogs or interact with other members.
Everyone has anonymity so there is no added worry about people knowing who they are.
The entire website is also moderated and community managed by qualified health professionalsTim Chapman
It is available to Lower Mid North Coast residents any time of day and from any online device.
Community programs coordinator for the Lower Mid North Coast Tim Chapman said the initiative aims to reduce isolation by encouraging those affected by cancer to share their stories and build meaningful relationships with other people in similar situations.
“What we are seeing through our peer support programs is more and more people are now turning to digital platforms for information and support, to connect with others who can relate to what they are experiencing.
“The platform is designed to complement existing Cancer Council NSW information and support services, connecting people with each other in real time, regardless of when they seek information, or where they live.
“The entire website is also moderated and community managed by qualified health professionals – which is particularly beneficial during this time of year when support can be limited.
“If you’re caring for a loved one with cancer, our Cancer Council Online Community also has a dedicated channel for family, friends and carers with advice and information on a range of topics including how to help a loved one through diagnosis and treatment, how to access financial and legal support and coping with grief and loss.
“When caring for someone with cancer it’s important to look after yourself as well, and the Cancer Council Online Community is always available to offer support,” he said.
The Cancer Council telephone and information service is also available on 13 11 20 over parts of the holiday period.