There are many different support groups available, to find one that’s right for you please contact our 13 11 20 Cancer Information and Support Line.
Who runs a support group
Many support groups are facilitated by someone affected by cancer, these are referred to as ‘peer support groups’. A facilitator is responsible for leading or coordinating the group. Some support groups involve someone with a professional background who can add particular skills and information to the valuable experience of someone affected by cancer. They might be the facilitator or co-facilitator, or be a guest speaker.
What do support groups offer
Support groups can offer a confidential, supportive place to share experience, learn from and connect with, others affected by cancer. Some groups have a special focus, like breast cancer, for couples or for people who care about someone with a cancer diagnosis. Support groups offer practical and emotional support. Many support groups offer guest speakers on topics of interest.
How to become a member
Groups can operate on an ‘open membership’ policy, so people come and go as they choose. Groups might be open to anyone affected by cancer or they might be more specific. Not all groups are equipped or choose to discuss all aspects of managing cancer – for example contemplating death and dying.
There are groups that do and it is important to discuss your needs with the local Cancer Support Coordinator so that your particular needs can be considered and where possible, met appropriately. Call our 13 11 20 Cancer Information and Support Line for your nearest coordinator. If a particular support group will not meet your needs, there may be alternative options put forward for you to consider.
Examples of topics discussed:
- Coping with a cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Living with cancer and changes to everyday life
- Tips and information from those who’ve been through the same thing
- Nutrition, exercise, complementary therapies and other strategies to sustain someone on their cancer journey
- Some groups have a special focus and/or discuss issues about facing death and bereavement.
Interested in setting up a cancer support group or want help with the ongoing delivery of a current group? We have compiled a list of useful resources and information on setting up and managing a cancer support group.
We also offer free online group facilitator training online. To find out more about the support groups facilitation training and available dates please contact our 13 11 20 Cancer Information and Support Line.