Program profile: Cancer Support Groups

Wednesday 23 May, 2018

Cancer Support Groups (CSG) provide an opportunity for people to meet in an emotionally supportive environment. Support groups offer confidential and safe social connections, and a forum to give and receive support, share information and feel less isolated. Research shows that this type of support has a positive impact on quality of life and emotional wellbeing 1.

There are currently 124 Cancer Council Victoria recognised CSG in Victoria and of these:

  • 47% of groups are run by health professionals
  • 56% are located in metropolitan; 44% in regional Victoria
  • 43 groups are for people with any cancer, whilst other groups are specific to cancer type including breast, prostate, blood, brain, mesothelioma, ostomate, bowel, head and neck, lung, neuroendocrine tumours, pancreatic and skin/melanoma.

To be recognised as a group means to operate in accordance with the principles of the Cancer Council Victoria’s CSG Program and Group leaders attend training on a continual basis. Training helps leaders learn skills in creating a safe group environment whilst understanding group dynamics when discussing difficult circumstances.

How to find a support group?

Visit our website for the CSG search tool with refine fields for cancer type, age group, meeting time and day of the week and location. For privacy reasons, names and contact details are not disclosed through the search tool. Call 13 11 20 for specific details. Support groups are also available on the phone and through online communities, our 13 11 20 oncology nurses can assist for more information.

How to start a support group?

To find out how to start a support group in your health service, email to contact Briony Squibb, CSG Manager.

1. J Ussher et al, Research into the relationship between type of organisation and effectiveness of support groups for people with cancer and their carers, Cancer Council NSW, Sydney, 2005.


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