It was the most depressed I’ve been. Most days I didn’t even have the motivation to get dressed.
- Michelle, 21
What's the issue?
Facing cancer when you’re young can devastate your mental health. You’re already going through major physical and emotional changes. Suddenly, your whole world changes and everything’s uncertain.
Your family aren’t always sure how to help. Your friends don’t truly understand. And cancer treatment can be incredibly tough, physically and mentally, with lasting side effects.
It’s a complex set of challenges, and young people facing it need specialist psychological support – specific to cancer and specific to their age group. Right now, that support isn’t always available.
Our ‘#NotOK: Filling the gaps in mental health support for young people with cancer’ report reveals that more than a third of young people with cancer surveyed in April 2021 could not access a psychologist when they needed to in the last six months.
I finished radiotherapy and I thought I’d feel really happy, but I just felt lost.
- Georgina, 24
Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are common among young people with cancer, and the psychological disruption can lead to lasting problems in adulthood. The right support early on can help prevent this.
Our nurses and Youth Support Coordinators do amazing work every day to support young people emotionally. But for many young people struggling with mental health issues during cancer, accessing a specialist psychologist is vital.
The coronavirus pandemic has made the situation even worse, with many young people feeling more isolated and anxious than ever before.
How can I help?
We launched our #NotOK campaign in June 2021 and asked supporters to email their MP, MS, MLA or MSP to raise awareness of the issue. A huge thank you to everyone who’s supported the campaign so far.
Now it’s time for the next phase. We’re asking you to pledge your support, and help us call on UK Governments to provide dedicated funding to make sure every young person with cancer can access support from specialist psychologists to help them through it.
You can pledge your support no matter whether you’ve previously emailed your MP about #NotOK. The more names on board, the better our chance of achieving change together.
Simply fill out the form below.