I am on a roll today highlighting Canadian resources. As part of a nation-wide effort to provide high-quality psychosocial care to all Canadians affected by cancer, several of Canada’s leading authorities for psychosocial oncology have partnered to provide counsellor-led online support groups.
These online support groups are available to Canadians who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families/loved ones and are free of charge no matter where they live.
Weekly sessions are 1.5 hours long and take place in “real time”. The groups operate continuously throughout the year for 8 – 10 weeks at a time.
Please contact Cancer Chat Canada toll-free at 1-800-663-3333 extension 4955 or 4966, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before teaching in the Dr John Morgan online program in death, dying, palliative care education (which became www.LDMonline.ca) I questioned if death dying and palliative care education could be taught online in a satisfactory way. If you had asked me at that time if an online support group could be effective I would have questioned that as well!
After five years of teaching online, developing strategies designed to meet the needs of individual learners, utilizing various new technologies, and enjoying phenomenal discussions during teleconferences and within forum postings, I am convinced that online communities can support, educate and energize one another. And so I am very interested in hearing of these support groups and expect that they will be very successful!
In the online education program (Death Dying and Palliative Care Education Online www.LDMonline.ca) we see individuals who may not be comfortable sharing in a face to face group, share more easily in an online discussion. Those who like time to consider before responding, often share later via postings. Participants with visual, auditory and mobility challenges appreciate the opportunities in online participation and posting.
This project is limited to individuals who are affected by cancer.
Recently Deb Ribeyre, on Vancouver Island led both a phone and an online support group for caregivers of people with dementia. (Deb is going to teach the online course “Loss Grief and Dying with Dementia” with LDMonline.ca in the fall)
We repeatedly hear how our lives are changing because of the new technologies. Here is another great example of this!
If you have feedback on these groups, please share via comments.