World-first website launched to support young people affected by cancer

YOUTH cancer charity CanTeen will today launch a groundbreaking website, developed with funding from the Australian Government, which will provide much needed support to young people living with cancer.

The CanTeen Online Support Platform sets an international benchmark with its world first combination of 7-day access to professional CanTeen counsellors and 24/7 access to youth-specific information and an online community where young people can connect with peers in similar situations and share their cancer experiences through blogs, forums and testimonials.

“Every year, another 23,000 young Australians have their world turned upside down by cancer, whether they’ve been diagnosed themselves or whether it’s their parent, brother or sister,” said CanTeen CEO Peter Orchard.

“While we can only reach a small proportion of them with our face to face services, the new online support platform has the potential to provide life-changing support to every single young person who needs help on their cancer journey – that’s 50,000 young people over the next two years.

“CanTeen research shows that young people dealing with cancer are five to six times more likely to develop mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

“Having instant peer and professional support available seven days a week – from anywhere in Australia – will combat the main triggers of psychological distress, which include feelings of isolation and a lack of information about what their cancer journey will involve.

“Our specially trained counsellors truly understand the physical, emotional and practical impact of living with cancer and will be available over extended hours via instant messaging, email or phone.

“I’d like to acknowledge the great importance of the Australian Government’s funding support in making this project possible and thank Minister Dutton for joining us today to launch this very exciting project which will truly transform the way young people affected by cancer are supported,” Mr Orchard said.

The Australian Government, through the Department of Health, provided almost $2 million to support the development of the online platform as part of the E-Mental Health Strategy.

Designed by young people living with cancer, the platform will be particularly beneficial for teenagers and young adults in regional or remote Australia who have previously had to travel to meet other young people or a counsellor face-to-face.

In order to promote the online support platform to young people and their families, CanTeen will also launch the CanTeen Keys campaign today.

Developed by Behaviour Change Partners, the campaign aims to put CanTeen in the hands of young people living with cancer by providing them with a key-shaped USB that contains a video explaining the platform and linking them directly to it.

Given that 21,000 of the 23,000 young people affected by cancer each year are dealing with a parent’s cancer, CanTeen Keys will initially be delivered to cancer nurses working with adult cancer patients who have children aged 12-24.

“Teenagers and young adults have both the greatest need for effective mental health care while also typically being the least likely to seek help,” Mr Orchard said.

“We also know that a huge concern for parents diagnosed with cancer is how to tell their children and how to support them at a time when they themselves are in immense turmoil.

“That’s why we’re equipping nurses with CanTeen Keys, a practical tool that simultaneously helps nurses, helps parents and helps young people deal with the enormous impact that cancer has on their life,” Mr Orchard said.

For more information or to get support, visit www.canteen.org.au/nowwhat, email support@canteen.org.au or call 1800 835 932.
Source: CanTeen Australia

Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.

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  • Ryan Fritz

    Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.

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Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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