Health conditions

Emotional support for people affected by cancer

This is a free statewide service for adults affected by cancer and their families, provided by the WA Psycho-Oncology Service.

How can a clinical psychologist help?

Many people experience problems when they find out they have cancer and everyone copes with these problems in different ways. Sometimes people feel they are not coping and problems get on top of them.

Clinical psychologists can assist with a broad range of cancer-related difficulties. Our clinical psychologists may be able to help you with:

  • physical concerns such as pain, nausea and eating difficulties
  • tiredness and sleep problems
  • changes in body functioning, for example speech, brain and sexual functioning
  • depression and anxiety
  • fears about cancer returning
  • coming to terms with prognosis
  • goal-setting and recovery plans.

Family members may also have difficulty expressing their feelings, worry about a person with cancer or find it hard to adjust to changes in family roles. There may also be conflict or sexual difficulties between partners.

Why consult a clinical psychologist?

  • It is often easier to talk to a person outside of your family and friends.
  • We have specialised knowledge to help you cope with issues surrounding diagnosis, treatment and survival as well as broader issues in your relationships and your life.
  • We can help you learn practical coping skills such as relaxation, stress management and how to challenge self-defeating patterns.
  • You can access our help at any stage including at diagnosis, during treatment, or after treatment has finished.
  • Family members can attend individually or together.
  • People from both public and private treatment centres can access this service.
  • It is a confidential, free service.

What we don’t provide

We do not provide medical guidance or opinions about treatments. We suggest you ask your doctor for more information about medical issues. We do not provide immediate crisis or emergency services.

How do I arrange an appointment?

Your health worker can provide a written referral, or you can phone us direct.

WA Psycho-Oncology Service

Where to get help                                 

WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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