/Doing it tough
Doing it tough2017-02-20T00:45:32+00:00

Lots of blokes aren’t great at asking for emotional support. Maybe they’re not used to needing help and don’t know what to do. Or they don’t want to feel like a burden. They feel guilty about complaining, embarrassed about taking up someone’s time. Or there’s a voice in their head saying, “Put up with it. You can get through this on your own.”

If any of this feels familiar, we’d like to suggest a new way of looking at things — men who speak up about their emotional health are being proactive in looking after themselves and their family.

The truth is that the cancer journey is unpredictable; what worries you about your illness can change from day to day. Factor in things happening at work, with family or friends, and it can all quickly start to seem overwhelming. Common concerns include coping, decision making, pain, sexual dysfunction, impact of treatment on lifestyle, family or financial concerns, and fears about treatment, recovery and the future. As worries mount it’s not unusual for men to experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, whether for the first time or as a recurrence of an earlier condition.

“The psychological services offered as part of the program were invaluable… I lost 30 kilos pre-surgery with their help… I would recommend the program to any man, regardless of age or location.” – Marc

“The psychological services offered as part of the program were invaluable… I lost 30 kilos pre-surgery with their help… I would recommend the program to any man, regardless of age or location.” – Marc

We’re ready to listen

At TrueNTH we’d rather talk now and prevent more serious problems later. That’s why our Care Coordinators ask you regularly  how you’re doing. If they feel you need extra help, they’ll make a referral to our psychological and psychiatric service — or ask your GP about linking you with a local psychologist or psychiatrist if these Medicare rebateable services are available. Your partner or next-of-kin, whoever knows you best, can also speak up and request this support for you. Most importantly, if you feel you’re struggling, or things could be better, please ask for an appointment to talk things through, get a few tips and get back on track.

The service is a video-and-voice consultation with a psychiatrist based in Melbourne. It is entirely confidential but we are required to keep your specialist, GP and, occasionally, other professionals informed. Sometimes a single session talking to someone understanding is enough to put things back in perspective. Other times it might take several appointments, as new concerns arise or as it may take time for you to feel comfortable opening up about your experiences.

Family and friends

Ongoing sessions usually focus on the impact of recent events. You might discuss structured problem-solving, techniques for dealing with stress, how to talk to family or friends or children, and the recovery process. We might also ask to speak to your partner or next-of-kin to help understand what’s troubling you. We don’t do this without checking with you first and we certainly won’t give them information unless you say we can. (If that person is also struggling, we can recommend where they can get help for themselves.)

Some people may need medication to manage their symptoms. If this is the case, the specialist will talk to you and your GP about your options, the reasons for this, how long it may be necessary, any side effects, and who will monitor your progress.

OBJECTIVE No 2: CONTACT US

You don’t have to navigate your illness alone. To make an appointment, call us on 1300 878 368.

Recommended resources

8 Comments

  1. Max Shub December 15, 2016 at 3:34 am

    There are over 160 Prostate Cancer support group in Australia that provide a valuable resource for men and their partners.
    Unlike friends and relatives who have not experienced Prostate Cancer, the members of support groups have experience, understanding and compassion, you should be actively encouraging men to seek these groups out

    • joji.mori@movember.com December 17, 2016 at 8:16 am

      good pickup, added a link to the recommended resourse

  2. Christopher Ellis December 12, 2016 at 9:36 am

    This is the section where the benefits and guidance about getting in touch with a support group could be more clearly offered.

    • joji.mori@movember.com December 17, 2016 at 8:11 am

      done, in the recommended resources

  3. timpegler December 11, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Thanks, Donna, Olivia & Dave. Think I have incorporated this feedback now. T

  4. olivia wong December 6, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    dave’s comment: i suppose if there were local services we would already be using them, or not?
    If so, yes, I think we can definitely add a statement about that, where local psychology can be accessed through a GP via Better Health Outcomes Plan, as can a local psychiatirst. Both services would be Medicare rebateable.
    Donna’s: agreed. How about: Some people may need medication to manage their symptoms. If this is the case, the specialist will talk to you and your GP about your options, the reasons for this, how long it may be necessary, any side effects, and who will monitor your progress.

  5. dave hughes December 6, 2016 at 1:08 am

    perhaps highlight that the GP can help with financial support to see a Psychologist etc via a “mental Health Care Plan”

  6. Donna Cowan December 6, 2016 at 12:47 am

    We’re ready to listen:
    …we keep your GP and other professionals informed
    Suggest: we keep your specialist, GP and occasionally other professionals

    If WE think your symptoms will be best managed with medication – makes it sound like the writers of the website are deciding that medication may be required. Suggest making this psychiatrist or clinician/specialist thinks symptoms may be best managed with medication

Comments are closed.