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Cancer & Mental Health: Let’s talk
By Lucy Willingale
I was privileged to be asked by Cancer 52 to speak at a workshop at the NHS cancer programme’s ‘Improving the mental health for people affected by cancer’ conference on Tuesday 6th December. The event was in London, at The Oval cricket ground, and my presentation focused on the psychosocial support Kidney Cancer UK and Kidney Cancer Scotland provides to the kidney cancer community.
It was a great opportunity to share with the NHS Cancer Programme details on the services we provide free to patients, carers, family, and friends which include counselling and our Support Line. The event was well attended and the included NHS health professionals, members of the Integrated Health Board, National Cancer Programme Directors, and a wide range of cancer charities.
The aim of the conference was to talk about how we improve mental health and psychosocial support for people affected by cancer patient and public voices.
Dame Cally Palmer, the National Cancer Director for NHS England, gave an inspiring video address to conference on the National Cancer Programme’s priorities and the importance of mental health and psychosocial support for people affected by cancer.
I talked about the value of the charity sector with psychosocial support and talked in depth about all our support services we offer and our positive feedback from people using our services.
From discussions in our workshop, we learned that it’s vital that every cancer patient must have mental health and psychosocial support from the first step of their cancer journey. We also discussed how the NHS and charities could collaborate more as it is vital patients get this support to live well.
In conclusion I have to say how much enjoyed being at such an important conference and to be part of the discussion on improving the mental health landscape for people affected by all forms of cancer. It also gave the attendees clarity on how essential the support we give, and the work do every day at Kidney Cancer UK and Kidney Cancer Scotland is to our patient community and how we support he NHS.
Healthcare Professional – Lead
Kidney Cancer UK and Kidney Cancer Scotland