Free Social & psychological internet and tel-counseling can be availed of by cancer patients and caregivers.
+91 22 25563291
Monday to Saturday 10 am to 10 pm
+91 22 27546669
All Days – 24 hours
Why do we need Counseling?
A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event – not only the person directly affected by the illness but also his/her near and dear ones. Owing to the nature of the disease, a complex regimen of medical tests and treatments have to be started almost immediately after the diagnosis is received, which may not give the patient and his/her family members the time to come to terms with the diagnosis itself.
While medical treatment is certainly the first line of action when cancer is diagnosed, more and more research literature has been pointing towards the need for using a multi-dimensional approach towards battling cancer. This is often called the bio-psycho-social model, which simply means that one needs to focus on the patient’s own mental well-being and the well-being of his/her relationships with family members and friends, to effectively counter the impact of the disease.
In order to address the psychosocial needs of patients suffering from cancer, and to ensure the emotional well-being of their loved ones, doctors in the West often recommend that patients and their loved ones seek ‘Counseling’. In India, however, most people do not know what counseling is, and how it can help them.
With regard to the meaning of the word itself, ‘Counseling’ means the process of making a situation easier or less difficult for the distressed individual, contributing to and facilitating the growth of a person, with the ultimate aim of making them independent thinkers and doers rather than dependent listeners.
In simpler terms, while the aim of counseling is to certainly help lessen or completely eliminate emotional distress, a counsellor goes about this not by doing things for the client him/herself, but by helping the client capable of bringing about the desired change on their own.
As is the case quite often with cancer, medical treatments only address one part of the problem which is the physical aspect alone. However patients and family members may be constantly worried by fears and negative thoughts which do not go away completely even when the patient responds well to treatment. The situation becomes worse when cancer is detected late and not much can be done by way of treatment, and quite often people suffer through this alone in silence.
A counseling service such as iCALL, provides such individuals the option of speaking to a trained mental health professional from the comfort of their homes to reduce their emotional and psychological distress. It also gives them a safe space to share their worries and fears and get helpful suggestions and resources to deal with the situation better. Most importantly, it gives them the option to do so instantly from the comfort of their homes.
While cancer patients and their caregivers actively fighting the battle, get some assistance from counsellors, social workers and support groups hosted at hospitals, most cancer-affected individuals have no mental health support systems to turn to.
Consistent with its founding objective of providing psychological assistance and information those hitherto excluded, marginalized and discriminated against, iCALL, with the Madat Trust, aims to offer an outlet for the those who are battling cancer or have lost a loved one to cancer, in the form of its telephone and email-based counseling services.