All children require a certain amount of "psychosocial support" as they grow and mature to help meet their emotional, social, mental, and spiritual needs. For children with cancer or blood disorders, the need for psychosocial support increases dramatically as their lives become consumed with illness. Providing this kind of support for the sick child is as essential as providing relief of physical symptoms.
Psychosocial support makes life a little easier for children and adolescents by helping them cope with the stress and anxiety that often accompanies treatment for their cancer or blood disorder. The Children's Blood & Cancer Center offers the following psychosocial support services for patients and families.
- Child Life Specialists help patients understand their medical procedures, cope with the stress of illness, and express their feelings in constructive ways. They also guide families through their child's cancer experience.
- The Childhood Cancer Fair/St. Baldrick's Family Event is the biggest annual educational event to connect cancer patients and families to community resources.
- The Hematology Family Wellness Fair is a fun event that helps blood disorder patients and their families build strong support systems through community resources.
- Hungry Bunch Teen Support Group monthly outings, weekend camp and special prom help teens build supportive friendships and a strong support system with other cancer and blood disorder patients.
- Survivor Challenge is a safe and structured physical activity training program to help patients feel better and make regular exercise an ongoing and important part of their lives.
- Through Family Nutrition Classes, patients and families learn about proper nutrition and its important role in cancer treatment.
- Based on the idea that creative arts can heal, Art Therapy uses the creative process to help cancer patients cope with the stresses that come with battling life-threatening illnesses.