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Mental Health Services

University Hospitals Mental Health Services Support Psychological and Emotional Health

Without psychological support, cancer patients often struggle with their feelings. It is not uncommon for people with cancer to experience feelings of fear, sadness, anxiety and isolation. In addition, cancer can have a major impact on relationships and create communication problems within families.

The mental health team at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is committed to helping cancer patients and their loved ones maintain emotional balance and psychological health. Our counseling services are an important part of our mission to treat the whole individual, not just the disease.

UH Counselors Provide Assessment, Counseling and Resources

The mental health services team at UH Seidman Cancer Center is made up of:

  • A clinical nurse specialist in mental health
  • A team of psychiatrists, who have experience in working with patients who have cancer
  • Social workers

These professionals are trained to handle specific psychological issues related to cancer, which include helping patients and families adjust to the illness, assisting patients to establish a new normal, assist patients and families in accessing community resources and support groups, and in some situations, to assist patients in coping with their mortality. These compassionate specialists provide assessment, counseling and access to resources throughout diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

Research has demonstrated the benefits of psychological counseling during and after cancer care. Studies have confirmed that cancer patients with access to mental health counseling experienced less anxiety, an elevated mood and better pain control. Psychosocial counseling can also help cancer patients make healthy lifestyle choices, such as getting more exercise, eating better and quitting smoking.

Research also demonstrates early detection and treatment of depression can improve outcomes to treatment. Based on this research, the staff at UH Seidman Cancer Center strives to screen for depression and improve access to treatment.

The Roles of Mental Health Counseling

The various services offered by members of our mental health team include:

  • Providing an accurate assessment of psychological health in cancer patients, paying careful attention to indications of emotional distress
  • Developing counseling and interventional planning to counter the effects of emotional distress
  • Guiding patients and care partners to tools and resources that can help bolster emotional health
  • Tailoring counseling and other resources to meet the patient’s specific needs based upon where he or she is in the treatment process
  • Connecting patients and families to programs that teach improved coping through training in relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga and exercise

Mental Health Coping Strategies Make a Difference

Because each person is different, patients and their families will choose various methods to handle each step of cancer care. The mental health team is available to guide patients and care partners through the process, plan for the future and make suggestions for coping strategies.