International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia 2022
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This year, World Cancer Day falls on Friday 4th February 2021 and raises awareness of those who are currently living with cancer, have had cancer, who are supporting someone with cancer, and to commemorate those who we have lost. It is also an opportunity to celebrate those who have survived cancer and serve as an encouragement for those who have been diagnosed and are undergoing treatment.
Furthermore, World Cancer Day raises awareness in the support networks that have stood with those who have had cancer along their journey and raises awareness to the daily struggles of cancer survivors, advocating for further funds, regulation and studies to assist them in obtaining a greater life experience.
While the completion of cancer treatment is both gratifying and alleviating for many, it can also have enduring physical and psychological effects. The treatment can have a long-standing impact on an individual’s physical state—altering how a person lives their life. Additionally, the person may develop mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and in more serious cases post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues may become strained due to the physical and emotional difficulties the treatment may cause. Below are some examples of emotional difficulties someone may face when living with cancer:
The physical and emotional turmoil may lead to the person becoming traumatised. This could be from the role the disease had upon them, as well as if the treatment itself has caused emotional distress. Support groups and counselling are recommended to combat psychological trauma.
The fear of cancer re-emerging is another issue someone recovering may face. Survivors can go years (and a lifetime) without the disease re-occurring. However, many may face years of worry believing the disease may one day re-appear. The person must be open to those close to them regarding their worries and concerns.
Survivors may become emotionally isolated due to others being unable to understand what they have been through. This can cause issues socially, leading to isolation. Support groups are further encouraged so survivors can speak to those who have shared similar experiences.
You can find tips for supporting employees who’ve been affected by cancer below:
Some cancer charities run short courses which are designed to assist those whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Examples include Help to Overcome Problems Effectively (HOPE), and other resources from Macmillan Cancer. You might not know what employees are going through, but it doesn’t mean you can’t direct them to someone who does. Help employees find support by directing them to these services.
Cancer survivors may wish to use World Cancer Day to generate funds for relevant charities. It could be a bake sale, a raffle or a team challenge. By making the effort to hold a fundraiser event you show your support to employees who might be going through a difficult time with cancer.
Cancer treatment and recovery can be extremely distressing for employees. During this time try to be as sensitive as you can to their needs. Make any reasonable adjustments where possible like allowing them to work from home or offering flexible working hours. It helps for managers to regularly keep in touch with the employee to check in on their wellbeing. Remember to signpost employees to the employee assistance programme for professional counselling support. They might forget it’s available during times of need.
If you need to access our services to discuss any wellbeing concerns you may have, our confidential helpline is available 24/7, 365.
Alternatively, if you have access to the My Healthy Advantage app (iOS & Android), you can view a variety of wellbeing resources including our new video series, BrightTV – powered by Health Assured, featuring a variety of well-known personalities sharing their unique experiences with mental health.
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