A group support program for young people dealing with a parent’s cancer is being run online for the first time tomorrow night with participants from Sydney, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Ipswich and the far north NSW coast.
Developed by youth cancer charity CanTeen, Truce is a free, 7 week program for 14-22 year-olds whose parent or caregiver has cancer.
“Every day, another 60 young people are confronted with the terrifying news that their parent has cancer,” said Dr Pandora Patterson, General Manager of Research and Youth Cancer Services at CanTeen.
“CanTeen research shows that young people dealing with a parent’s cancer are three to six times more likely to experience high levels of psychological distress than their peers, which in turn can lead to long term mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
“Truce helps young people develop coping skills to manage stress and difficult emotions while also providing the opportunity to connect with other young people in the same boat who truly understand what they’re going through.
“We are incredibly excited to start running Truce online so that young people from anywhere in Australia can get this vital support, particularly as we know that young people in regional areas often feel especially isolated and alone,” Dr Patterson said.
CanTeen also provides a 24/7 online community where young people can connect with each other through blogs, forums and video stories. Online counselling is also available seven days a week over extended hours.