Sheryl has been a cancer patient with Bendigo Health since March 2021. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 13 years ago and says that her diagnosis created many issues including psychological as well as financial.
“I’m 66 and I gave up work because of the uncertainty of the diagnosis,” Sheryl said. “You don’t know how long it’s for and so you have to minimise financial outlays as well.”
This includes not having the funds to access mental health services to help with the emotional and psychological trauma of a potentially terminal illness.
For Sheryl and others, the Cancer Wellness Program’s partnership with Connect Psych Services means they can receive the emotional support they need.
Bendigo Health Cancer Centre Wellness Coordinator Jenna Sing said the service was made possible thanks to funds raised through the McKean McGregor Gala Ball and proudly supported by Bendigo Health Fundraising & Foundation.
“Connect Psych Services will provide confidential and independent pathways of e-counselling support to our patients,” Ms Sing said.
“It is wonderful that through this addition to our wellness program we can nurture our patients’ wellbeing while we are physically treating their cancer.”
Sheryl said as a cancer patient you also don’t want to create any extra concern to family and friends.
“To have this support offered to you is absolutely wonderful,” she said. “It’s another burden you don’t have to worry about.” Connect Psych CEOs Sasha Milinkovic and Dr Natalie Flatt said mental health needs can be unintentionally put to the side.
Connect Pscyh Services can fill that gap. “The people at Bendigo Health understand that going through the cancer journey can be a survival stage, but when we move into that reflection stage that’s when a
lot of the trauma manifests,” Natalie said.
“We see a lot of anxiety and depressive symptoms come out.” “It’s also about general healing, being able to have that time to restock and check in with what’s important to you,” Sasha said. For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org