cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Telephone-based peers support WA: MatesCONNECT (Media Release)

Community Manager
Community Manager
0 0 328

You're not alone.jpg

 

Men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer in Western Australia will now have mates they can turn to for support, thanks to a new program by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.  

Launched this week, the MatesCONNECT program connects newly diagnosed men with trained volunteers who have been through the disease.

PCFA State Board Chair, Bill Munro, said the service will be accessible to more than 2000 WA men who are newly diagnosed each year.

“About 2100 Western Australian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and nearly 300 will die of the disease. This program will ensure they receive the type of support that can only be offered by those who understand what living with a diagnosis of prostate cancer is like.

“Men can get practical advice on surgery and treatment, and the side effects of treatment, such as incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and coping with Androgen Deprivation Therapy,” he said.

“About one in five Western Australian men with prostate cancer will experience long-term anxiety and depression, and men in regional and rural areas of Western Australia have a 24 per cent higher risk of death.

“Of equally great concern, men with prostate cancer face a 70 per cent increased risk of suicide compared to the general population. MatesCONNECT provides vital support to ensure these men do not suffer alone.”

PCFA’s Head of Community Services, Chris McNamara, said 10 volunteers had been trained to provide the service.

“While our volunteers can’t offer men medical advice, they can provide newly diagnosed patients with an understanding of what to expect and provide a practical and supportive insight into living with prostate cancer,” he said.

“It’s common for men to struggle with understanding their treatment options and many are unable to access evidence-based information about the pros and cons of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment or hormonal therapy.

“Research shows that peer-run self-help programs deliver significant improvement in psychological and psychosocial quality of life, resulting in decreased hospitalisation, enriched social support networks, and enhanced self-esteem and social functioning.

“This program will be a game-changer for men in WA affected by prostate cancer. Importantly, the program responds to the evidence that men who have a lived experience of prostate cancer can be a source of great strength and support for those newly impacted by the disease.

“Those who understand what it’s like to live through a prostate cancer diagnosis are well-placed to offer emotional and informational support to other men, providing solidarity throughout survivorship, when many men face ongoing side-effects from their treatment.

“MatesCONNECT will build on foundations of shared personal experience and empathy, with a focus on survivorship, wellbeing, and recovery. We are grateful to Woodside Energy for providing a $100,000 grant to support for this life-changing service,” he said.

ENDS

PCFA:
 Anne Savage 0417 709 869 or Anne.Savage@pcfa.org.au

For more information, email enquiries@pcfa.org.au or visit www.pcfa.org.au

House Rules

To help keep this community a welcoming, supportive and caring place we have put together a small list of dos and don'ts for you to think about when posting on our forum, research blog or video gallery.

For further information please see our terms and conditions, and to contact the Online Community team please email onlinecommunity@pcfa.org.au or call 1800 22 00 99.

Adhere to PCFA’s five core values of Integrity, Optimism, Compassion, Respect and Commitment.

Our online forum is for you to share experiences with others and does not contain specific medical, counselling or legal advice.  If you require professional advice specific to your individual circumstances we encourage you to see a medical professional, legal professional or counsellor.

No commercial or promotional activity. While members may share information about resources they have found helpful, the PCFA Online Community forum should not be used for the promotion of goods and services. This includes commercial entities passing themselves off as individuals and people who frequently post links to external health professionals or other services.

Be kind to each other - many people using the community are going through a difficult time. A few kind words can go a long way. Please welcome new posters – it can be very nerve-wracking to post on the forum for the first time.

If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, we encourage you to seek assistance and contact Beyond Blue Tel:1300 224 636 or Lifeline Tel:13 11 14

Speak your mind freely, but please be sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others - you might not always agree, but you can agree to disagree in a peaceful manner.

Don't use offensive language -if a user is found to be using offensive language during their conversations the moderators reserve the right to edit the thread, without warning.

Don't use all capital letters in your posts - it's considered ‘shouting' online and it makes posts difficult to read.

Give each other the benefit of the doubt - please remember that it is all too easy for the tone and meaning of posts to be misinterpreted. Think carefully before replying to a discussion. it It is important to remember that things written rather than said can feel much stronger, so please bear this in mind when reading other people's messages.

Please respect the moderators - their job is to keep the forum safe and constructive so that everybody gets to have his or her fair say.

Stay on topic - try to focus on the original topic. In particular, don't change subject in the middle of an existing thread - just start a new thread.

Read what's already on the forum before posting - you may be repeating what others have already said or asked.

We want PCFA's Online Community to be a secure and helpful environment for all of the community. So please remember that by using PCFA's Online Community you are agreeing to follow our terms and conditions.