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Peer Support

Intended Audience

For people living with cancer, diagnosed with cancer, or dealing with any type of cancer at any stage. Significant caregivers are also welcome.

Program Description

Sometimes all you need is someone to talk to. Someone who has been there… someone who knows. Wellspring Calgary offers one-on-one peer support and program navigation for people diagnosed with cancer and their significant caregivers. Sessions take place with trained volunteers who have experienced cancer and who know that it is a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual journey and that tools for self-care come in many forms and practices. During this supportive, affirming exchange, volunteers offer a compassionate listening ear and practical orientation to Wellspring Calgary’s programs, services and resources. 

“All I needed to do was talk and sob, and this wonderful Wellspring person just listened with tender eyes that said all I needed to know – she understood.”

“I was seeking information about all that’s available at Wellspring and really I couldn’t have asked for better guidance.”

Benefits and Impact

Sharing your story can be a powerful way to alleviate stress and bring relief. In some instances, those closest to you, who are also deeply impacted by the challenges in your path, may be unavailable or unable to listen effectively. At Wellspring Calgary, peer support volunteers know how to listen and can assist you in navigating the many programs that can help equip you with tools for wellness and self-renewal. Along with the powerful release of confidential sharing, Wellspring offers pathways to comfort, joy and personal empowerment.

What to Expect at a Session

Peer Support and optional program navigation is offered by trained volunteers with various professional backgrounds and direct experience with cancer. Meetings can be arranged by appointment or on a drop-in basis. Sharing is confidential and at the discretion of the person seeking engagement. Individuals who are new to Wellspring are offered guidance and information on the programs, services and resources offered free of charge and without referral by phone or within one of our welcoming centres. 

Program Details

When registering for a Peer Support phone call, please note that while registration times indicate 9 am on Monday – your appointment will not actually be set for this time. Please go ahead and register and then a volunteer will attempt you reach you at least two times throughout that week.

Register

What the Research Says

Numerous research studies that have been appraised for their evidence report that having psychosocial support during and after one’s cancer diagnosis and treatment leads to improved mental, emotional, and physical health outcomes. Psychosocial support can be provided by family, friends, and healthcare workers. Examples include listening, expressing empathy, and helping with chores and appointments. In a study conducted by Liao et al. 2010, researchers examined the effects of a supportive care program on women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The supportive care program consisted of 3 meetings. Researchers also provided the women with information pamphlets on breast cancer, different treatment options, and emotional coping skills. The women who received education experienced a lowered amount of anxiety that was statistically significant compared to women who did not participate in the care program (Schub T., DeVesty G., Pravikoff D. 2015. Breast Cancer: Psychosocial Support. CINAHL Nursing Guide, Evidence-Based Care Sheet).

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