Those receiving cancer care experience a number of transitions along the way, from diagnosis to treatment to survivorship. At UHS, we not only support our patients at every step, but also their families and caregivers, offering a number of support groups. The newest addition is a children’s support group, for those ages 5 to 18 who have a parent, caregiver or loved one with cancer.
“Peer support is one of the best forms of therapy, because it allows participants to share their story while connecting with others who have the same or similar experiences,” says Katrina Mallery, LMSW, O-SWC, oncology social worker at UHS. “This new group allows children to connect with one another and feel a sense of community, knowing that they are not alone. It also allows children the space to process their feelings in a safe and supportive environment using art and expressive therapy.”
Ms. Mallery also notes that the group gives parents and patients peace of mind, knowing that the support is making a difference in how children cope with a loved one’s cancer diagnosis.
“Patients find comfort in knowing that their children are being cared for and supported in the same way that they are being cared for and supported,” Ms. Mallery says. “We recognize that in helping our patients’ families and loved ones, we are not only helping those individuals, but also helping the patient in return.”