People affected by the diagnosis and treatment of cancer often find this to be a trying time. The Department of Social Work has licensed clinical social workers to help patients, their families, and friends cope with their cancer, and to assist them in dealing with psychological or social barriers to their treatment.
MD Anderson patients may contact us by calling the Department of Social Work directly at 713-792-6195, or by informing your nurse or physician of your interest in our services.
- Main Building, Floor 2, near The Park, B2.4650
- Mays Clinic, Floor 2, near the Tree Sculpture, ACB2.1508
- Get directions
Hours: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
A cancer diagnosis can mean increased distress for patients and their families. Highly skilled and professionally trained in counseling, clinical social workers provide short-term counseling free of charge. Counseling services include:
- Adjustment to diagnosis and treatment
- Coping with life changes
- Crisis intervention
- Grief and loss
- Sexuality counseling
- Family counseling
- Specialized care programs:
- Sexuality and intimacy counseling for couples and individuals
- Bereavement and loss counseling
- Relaxation and self-hypnosis
Each year, more than 600 hours of support group time are offered by the social work counselors. These groups offer a chance for MD Anderson patients, family members and friends to share concerns and ideas with others about cancer and the impact it has on their lives in a safe, private setting. Our support groups focus on a variety of topics including education, emotional support and specific diseases or treatments. See our complete list of support groups.
MD Anderson clinical social workers serve as a liaison between patients, the health care system and the community. Based on your specific needs, your social worker will help identify appropriate resources, including:
- Lodging and housing (short-term and long-term)
- Financial support programs
- Community support programs
- Home health care
- Hospice care
Advance directives are legal documents that communicate a patient’s wishes about the type of medical care they receive if they are not able to communicate those wishes to the medical team. The Department of Social Work can assist patients in completing these documents. Advance directive information and documents are available online or by calling 713-792-6195.
Social Work conducts one annual adult memorial service and four quarterly pediatric memorial services throughout the year for for families, friends, hospital staff and the community to commemorate the lives of those they have lost. For information about our adult memorial services, contact April Greene at 713-792-5388. For pediatric memorial services, contact Heather Derousse at 713-792-7146.
Depression in Cancer Patients: What You Should Know
by Emily Weaver, LMSW
After a Brain Tumor Diagnosis: Establishing a "New Normal"
by Sarah Hines, LMSW and Rebecca Savoie, LCSW
Moms with Cancer: Making Mother's Day Memories
by April Greene, LCSW and Wendy Griffith, LCSW
Social Work Fellowship
The Department of Social Work offers field placement opportunities to Bachelor of Social Work and second-year Master of Social Work students, providing hands-on learning experience for those entering the social work profession.