If you've ever been diagnosed with breast cancer, BCFNZ-funded counselling is available when you need to talk
If you've ever been diagnosed with breast cancer (recently or a long time ago), or if you're receiving preventative treatment for increased breast cancer risk, free BCFNZ-funded counselling is available when you need someone to talk to. A referral from your breast cancer specialist, nurse, or GP is required.
BCFNZ has partnered with Stratos, a national counselling service to provide support for people coping with the emotional challenges which often accompany breast cancer.
Counselling can find ways to help you cope with:
- Fear, anxiety and possible depression associated with a breast cancer diagnosis
- Personal, family and relationship issues
- Talking with others about your diagnosis
- Work and practical difficulties
- Sex and intimacy (check with your preferred counsellor if they offer this).
Some people will prefer to see a counsellor when they are first diagnosed or during treatment. Others find that the full impact of their experience doesn't hit them until after treatment stops and they are discharged from regular medical follow-up.
Often it's helpful to talk things through with someone who is not otherwise involved in your life. If you think that counselling may help you, ask your specialist or breast care nurse about a referral.
- Three sessions of individual counselling (over a 12.month period)
- Either face to face, over the phone or by Skype
- A family member may attend the sessions with you
- Confidentiality guaranteed
You choose your own counsellor
All Stratos counsellors have relevant counselling experience and have provided their individual profiles online. Clients can view these profiles and choose their own counsellor.
How to access free counselling
Once your breast cancer specialist, nurse or GP has completed the counselling referral form, it needs to be sent to BCFNZ. BCFNZ will then send you an email with a password, voucher number and email link to the Stratos website of counsellors.
You then select your location, choose a counsellor and send an appointment request. Alternatively an 0800 number for Stratos will be supplied to enable access.
A national network of tertiary qualified professional counsellors, Stratos has provided counselling support to more than 50,000 New Zealanders. All counsellors are practised at short-term counselling and an annual audit ensures ongoing professional development.