People affected by the diagnosis and treatment of cancer often find this to be a trying time. The Social Work department 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.
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:
CLIMB: Children's Lives Include Moments of Bravery
KIWI: Kids Inquire, We Inform
- 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 Care Planning
Advance care planning is an ongoing process of talking about your goals, values and wishes in terms of your health care. Advance directives, the legal documents that communicate patient’s wishes about the type of medical care they receive if they are not able to communicate those wishes to the medical team, are just one part of advance care planning. Social workers can assist patients in completing these documents.
Advance care planning information and documents are available online or can be obtained by calling the Department of Social Work at 713-792-6195.
Social Work conducts one annual adult memorial service and four quarterly pediatric memorial services throughout the year 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 Pichon at 713-792-5388. For pediatric memorial services, contact Heather Derousse at 713-792-7146.
Main Building, Floor 2, near The Park, B2.4650
Mays Clinic, Floor 2, near the Tree Sculpture, ACB2.1508
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday