What should I expect from a support group?
CancerCare’s online support groups take place on a message board platform. The groups are available for members to participate 24/7 during the group cycle. Participants will share in the group by writing posts in various discussion boards. Participants share about their situation, ask questions, receive support or feedback and discuss common themes related to the group they are enrolled in.
CancerCare’s live support groups meet virtually via video platform or in-person at one of our offices in New York City, New York; Deer Park (Long Island), New York; and Paramus, New Jersey. Groups meet for 60-90 minutes and are moderated by a licensed oncology social worker. Participants have the opportunity to share about their situation, ask questions, receive support or feedback from others and discuss common themes related to the group they are enrolled in.
Who can participate in CancerCare’s support groups?
Our online support groups are offered to people currently diagnosed with cancer, people who recently completed cancer treatment, caregivers or the bereaved. Our online support groups are offered to those residing in the United States and its territories.
Our live groups are offered to people currently diagnosed with cancer, people who recently completed cancer treatment, caregivers or the bereaved. Our live support groups are offered to those residing in the states of New York and New Jersey. Please refer to our support group page for the groups offered in your state.
How do I enroll in a support group?
To enroll in an online group, please visit this link and fill out our registration form: https://onlinegroups.cancercare.org/Account/Register
To enroll in a live group, please call our Hopeline at 800-813-HOPE (4673) or contact the moderator listed on the group you are interested in.
Is there a cost to join a group?
All of CancerCare’s services and programs, including our support groups, are offered free of charge.
When might a support group be helpful?
A cancer diagnosis brings many challenges. It can be an isolating experience. Connecting with others going through a similar situation can be helpful to learn new ways to cope, reduce isolation and increase your support network. A support group allows you to give and receive support in a safe space that is professionally moderated.
What if I need help right away?
CancerCare is not able to handle requests for immediate help in crisis situations, such as if you are feeling suicidal or in need of immediate assistance due to emotional or medical emergencies. If you are feeling like you are in crisis and need immediate attention, please contact the following organizations as they can help you:
For medical or psychiatric emergencies, please call 911
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: call or text 988 or visit https://988lifeline.org
How often do support groups meet?
The online support groups take place using a message board that is open to members 24/7 and you can post in the group whenever is convenient. These groups do not have a particular meeting time and do not include video chat or live chat functionality, such as Zoom. Each group cycle meets for 15 weeks.
Our live groups (in-person and/or Zoom) meet either weekly or bi-weekly for approximately 8-12 sessions per group cycle.
Who leads CancerCare’s support groups?
CancerCare’s support groups are led by licensed oncology social workers who provide support, resources and information throughout the course of a support group.
Is what I say confidential?
Your group moderator will review the group rules, including confidentiality, at the start of the support group. What is shared in the group is confidential, with a few exceptions. As a licensed social worker, your group moderator is a “mandated reporter” and must abide by federal and state laws that require them to break confidentiality for specific reasons. These include:
Court order or subpoena
Duty to warn and protect – harm to self or others
Abuse of children or vulnerable adults
I think my loved one needs help, how do I register them for a support group?
We cannot accept a registration request on behalf of prospective member. Because our program is run by licensed oncology social workers and follow rules and regulations related to informed consent and confidentiality, we cannot register a member unless they reach out us themselves. Please refer your loved one to our website or Hopeline at 800-813-HOPE (4673) so they can be connected to the support that will best meet their needs.