Cancer Patients’ Aid Association (CPAA) has collaborated with Adveka Foundation under the latter’s Saath program, to provide a unique support group together with an intervention program for women with breast cancer. The program is operated on WhatsApp where multiple groups have been made. Each group includes 7-8 women with breast cancer, a medical doctor, a physiotherapist, a director from CPAA, and two counsellors from Adveka Foundation.
The two purposes of the WhatsApp group are:
- To provide a safe space where the women can talk about their experiences with cancer and seek emotional support.
- To provide regular inputs such as techniques, activities, exercises, and information of a psychological or physical nature. These inputs serve as the basis of a physio- psychosocial intervention.
The psychosocial intervention consists of different modules, each with a specific goal. These modules include:
- Relaxation & Mindfulness Exercises: To help the women reduce any feelings of anxiety, of being overwhelmed.
- Self-Care Tips: With a thousand other responsibilities on their shoulders, these women often forget that they are important, too. These simple self-care tips help to remind them to take care of themselves.
- Gratitude: Innumerable researches show the benefits of expressing your gratitude. Various exercises and activities on the group help the women with different ways of expressing their gratitude.
- Self-Esteem: Building and maintaining positive self-esteem is important when there are things happening that are pulling you down. This module empowers the women to think of all the ways in which they are good.
- Positive Experiences: A bad event can bring out our best qualities. This module helps the women explore those positive experiences.
- Psychoeducation: Understanding how our thoughts affect our emotions and behaviour, is the first step to challenging and modifying those unhealthy thoughts.
- Challenging Unhealthy thoughts: Discussion of various cognitive distortions, and how they negatively affect us.
Together, these modules are aimed at empowering the women to think healthier and lead a fuller life.
Three support groups of women with breast cancer and one of women with metastatic breast cancer have been created with positive feedback from participants. For further information and to join a group contact Rajshree @9820493746 or Shubha @9594609797.