The Irish Cancer Society is encouraging anyone affected by cancer in Cork and who is in need of free counselling support to reach out for help.
Last year, the charity funded some 560 counselling sessions in Cork, ensuring that the service was able to continue on a remote basis during the pandemic.
This year, it is doubling its funding for the service to more than €800,000 to ensure people can access this crucial free service when it is needed.
The Irish Cancer Society said that cancer patients, survivors and those around them have had to deal with a huge amount during the pandemic including disruptions to treatments and services, social isolation and uncertainty around vaccinations.
It said this has understandably taken its toll on people at a time when they are also dealing with a life-changing diagnosis.
Counselling is available for children and adults, including family members as well as those directly impacted by a cancer diagnosis or who have lost loved ones to cancer.
Experienced cancer counsellor Deirdre Stanley said that it’s often not just the person who receives the diagnosis who needs support as a cancer diagnosis can incur feelings of “shock, fear and panic”.
“Talking with somebody can help break these feelings down and make them more manageable. People can now access it from anywhere with the remote service, and many actually find it more comforting being able to do it from their own home environment.”
Welcoming the increased funding commitment for counselling, Irish Cancer Society Director of Services, Donal Buggy said: “Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the public who responded to our Daffodil Day and Late Late Show fundraisers we are able to ensure that anyone affected by cancer who requires counselling can get the help they need.
“This has been a really challenging time for anyone affected by cancer, with some people isolated from their normal support network of family or friends.”
Referrals for counselling sessions are available through the Society’s Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700 and SupportLine@IrishCancer.ie.