New Delhi: A nationwide helpline to provide psychological support to cancer patients and their family members has been launched by Fortis Healthcare. The helpline, 8586091051, will help families cope with the emotional distress experienced in their fight against cancer, the healthcare group said in a statement.
A team of mental health experts as part of a psycho-oncology programme of Fortis Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences will be available to provide help to those reaching out on the helpline number, the Fortis Cancer Institute said.
Cancer needs long-term treatment, right from diagnosis to therapy and rehabilitation. Besides the physical distress associated with cancer and its treatment, it can significantly impact emotional well-being, with patients and care-givers experiencing fear, anxiety, low moods, adjustment difficulties and lifestyle changes.
What is required at this time is psycho-social support to help families to build resilience to fight this disease together, and this is the very purpose behind the launch of the National Cancer Support Helpline by the Fortis Cancer Institute.
Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences at Fortis Healthcare, said, “While looking at the complete and holistic care of cancer, one needs to understand the psycho-social impact that happens not just on the patients but also on the families.”
The family members go through a lot of emotional stress, and psychological distress while trying to find support for the patients. In this context, giving support to the family members and to provide for their well-being, care and guidance so that they can take good care of themselves and be able to also take care of the patients becomes important, he said.
Dr. Vinod Raina, Chairman, Oncoscience, Fortis Healthcare, said, “It is an initiative by Fortis Cancer Institute as a part of the psycho-oncology programme. With every passing year, there has been an alarming increase in the number of cancer cases. Fighting the disease physically is only one aspect of the cancer battle.”
“The emotional and psychological support of both the patient and caregiver is mostly overlooked. One can beat the disease only when both the caregiver and the patient are mentally and emotionally strong. Thus, the launch of cancer helpline,” Dr Raina added.