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. At the Children's Blood & Cancer Center, our psychosocial team provides support to patients and families in the following ways.
- Child Life Specialists help patients understand their medical procedures, cope with the stress of illness, and express their feelings in constructive ways. They also guides families through their child's cancer experience.
- Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Social Workers attend to the social and emotional needs and practical concerns related to the impact of diagnosis and treatment of not only the child, but the entire family.
- Psychologists from the Texas Child Study Center Embedded Behavioral Health Clinic offer neuropsychological testing and psychology services, counseling, and educational support to cancer and blood disorder patients so they're better able to learn, socialize, and lead productive lives.
We offer additional psychosocial services and family events to support patients and families.
- Annual educational events, the St. Baldrick's and Hematology Wellness Fairs, connect patients and families to community resources so they can build strong support systems.
- 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 the Food Fight for Life Nutrition Program, 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.
- Camp Volente for Bereaved Siblings supports children who've lost a brother or sister to cancer.