Whether you're a patient or a caregiver, cancer treatment is stressful. But our social work counselors can help.
At MD Anderson, each patient is assigned to a social work counselor. These licensed clinical social workers help patients, their family and friends cope with cancer. They also can help you deal with psychological or social concerns you face during and after treatment.
Here are a few ways our social work counselors can help.
- Navigate MD Anderson. When you first arrive at MD Anderson, it can be confusing to learning how things work and whom to contact for certain concerns. Our social work counselors can help guide and connect you to the right group of people, whether it's your medical team, Patient Travel Services, Case Management or the Business Center.
- Identify financial resources. Our social work counselors can help with locating and accessing financial resources for cancer treatment. This includes programs for dealing with employment concerns during cancer, home care, local lodging and transportation.
- Offer counseling and support groups. Our social work counselors provide short-term counseling free of charge. They can help you cope with your diagnosis, grief and loss, or changes in your life and relationships. They also can help you find a support group that's right for you. MD Anderson offers more than 600 hours of support group time each year. If you don't live in Houston, our social work counselors can help you find a support group close to home.
- Provide counseling for your friends and family. Social workers aren't just here for our patients. In fact, sometimes they spend even more time with caregivers and loved ones. Social work counselors help caregivers with a variety of things, from coping with the patients' diagnosis to making time for themselves to coordinating a support network. Social work counselors also can guide you through talking to children about cancer and cancer treatment.
- Assist with advance care planning. Advance care planning is the process of communicating information about a patient's diagnosis, treatment options, life goals, values and wishes. The only way to ensure that you have a voice in your future care is to talk with your loved ones and complete the legal documents that make your values and wishes known. Our social work counselors are here to walk you through the process and answer your questions.
Contact MD Anderson's Department of Social Work at 713-792-6195, or tell your nurse or doctor that you would like speak with a social work counselor.