Support groups

Your questions answered

What is a support group?
Why join a group?
How do they help?
What happens at a support group?
When and where are they held?

What is a support group?

A support group is simply a group of people who meet on a regular basis, share common issues and support one another through their experiences.

For many women it can be an opportunity to connect with others who “get it”. Support groups are a great source of peer support and tips on everything from preparing for hair loss due to chemo, exercise after surgery and ways of managing family and friends responses to the cancer. 

For some, attending a couple of times might be enough to get them back on track. Others will choose to come regularly for years.

Why join a support group?

Because together, we're stronger

There are many reasons why people join support groups. Research has found that the top five reasons people join a group are to;

  • know they are not alone
  • learn how other people deal with cancer and compare their experiences
  • hear about current medical research
  • become more informed about cancer treatment and side effects, and
  • relax with others who understand what they are going through

In our experience, after diagnosis many women have feelings of isolation, worry and sadness and they do not want to share all of their concerns with family and friends. Being a part of a support group can offer;

  • the opportunity to ask questions and share feelings
  • receive support and friendship from those who have been through, or are going through similar experiences
  • relax in a non-clinical environment
  • learn coping skills in a caring and non-judgmental environment
  • freedom to attend the group as you need, and when you are able to, and
  • a confidential space to share your experiences and tell your story

Source:
Cancer Australia (2009). Cancer support groups: A guide for peer facilitators
Spiegel, D. & Classen, C. (2000).  Group Therapy for Cancer Patients.  Basic Books: New York

 

How do support groups help?

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can give rise to many new feelings and new issues in your life. Joining a support group can help you to share your feelings with people who understand what you’re going through. Being part of a support group can also give you the opportunity to help others through their experience while you are being helped.

What happens at a support group meeting?

By providing a safe and non-judgemental space our clients are able to reflect on their diagnosis and in turn choose how they want to respond to it. Our support groups aim to meet the needs of the individuals within that group.

Each group is different and has different members that it supports. Some groups are more open and flexible and others offer more structure. At most meetings there is a general welcome, opportunity for you to share your experiences and feelings and sometimes a guest speaker. It is important to find a group that feels right for you.

When and where are the support group meetings?

The groups meet on a monthly basis, giving the opportunity for people to attend more than one group if they feel the monthly contact is not enough.

New members are always welcome! For more details you can call 9324 3703 or email info@breastcancer.org.au

*NEW in July 2016* Joondalup Support Group
For all women with early breast cancer
Second Friday of the month. 10:00am to 12:00pm

Heathridge Support Group
For all women with early breast cancer
Third Monday of the month 12.30pm to 2.30pm

Cottesloe Support Group
For all women with early breast cancer
Third Friday of the month 10:00am to 12:00pm

Wilson Support Group
For all women with early breast cancer
Second Wednesday of  the month 10:00am to 12:00pm

Rockingham Support Group
For all women with breast cancer
Second Tuesday of the month. 12:30pm to 2:30pm

Mandurah Support Group
For all women with breast cancer
First Monday of the month 10.00am to 12.00pm

Midland Support Group
For all women with early breast cancer
Fourth Thursday of the month 10.30 am until 12:30pm

After Hours Support Group – Cottesloe
For all women with early breast cancer
Third Tuesday of the month 6.00pm to 7:30pm?

Advanced Support Group - Perth Hills
For women with advanced breast cancer
Third Tuesday of the month 10.30am -12.30pm

Partners support group - Cottesloe
For partners of women who are going through breast cancer
First Tuesday of the month 6.30pm -8.00pm

Young Women's Advanced - Cottesloe
For young women with advanced breast cancer
Second Tuesday of the month. 10.00am - 12.00pm

Advanced Breast Cancer Support Group – Cottesloe
For women with advanced breast cancer
Fourth Wednesday of the month 11.00am to 1.00pm

Young Women’s Group – Cottesloe
For all women under 40 or with school aged children
Second Monday of the month 10.00am to 12.00pm.

Online support
If you’re living outside of the metropolitan area, the Breast Cancer Click online support network might be for you.
www.breastcancerclick.com.au