Anxiety course providing support after cancer

Wednesday 6th March 2019

A successful service in Barnsley has been helping local people to work through anxiety and emotions both during and after cancer treatment.

An anxiety course, funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, has been piloted at The Well Complementary Therapies Centre, based at The Core on County Way.

Six courses have taken place over the last few months; each made up of two two-hour sessions.

A small group of between four and seven people took part in each course. During their sessions, they were helped to identify what they were feeling, develop coping techniques which fit into everyday life and ways to maintain a positive attitude.
Complementary Therapist Cheryl Roberts delivered the courses. Cheryl was herself diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.

She said: “We’ve had some really great comments from people who have taken part in a course.

“One person said it was the happiest they had felt in months because they were able to talk to somebody who understood what they were feeling. Before they had felt very lonely and isolated.

“An evaluation has been done of the course and through holding a follow-up session for participants one month after their initial two sessions, we found the majority said there had been an improvement in their symptoms and physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as a reduction of anxiety, through knowledge of anxiety and simple, effective coping strategies.”

Richard Metcalfe, Macmillan Programme Lead, The Macmillan Living With And Beyond Cancer Programme, added: “The Macmillan Living With And Beyond Cancer Programme listened to first-hand experiences of local people living with and after cancer and found there was an opportunity to develop the psychological support available to them.

“Anxiety can have a devastating effect on people living with and after a cancer diagnosis, but participants who have attended a course told us they now feel equipped with the tools to help when their anxiety becomes overwhelming. They also say they feel happier, more empowered and less alone.

“The service, provided by The Well, will now also use their expertise to work with the local NHS services, which provide psychological support, to make sure what they have found is shared more widely to reach more people affected by cancer.”

Following the success of the sessions, Cheryl will continue to run the anxiety groups.

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