Coping with a life threatening illness such as cancer or a blood disorder can be extremely difficult for patients and caregivers (family members). Emotional health, also known as mental health, is an essential part of handling the stress of illness, fear, anxiety, and worry of the unknown.
A common form of mental health services called counseling or therapy is often recommended by West Michigan Cancer Center & Institute for Blood Disorders (WMCC) providers; and viewed as an important part of healing. There are many different kinds of counseling services in the community. If you would like to discuss counseling options in the community specific to your needs, please discuss it with your health care provider. They may ask you to speak with a WMCC social worker–a mental health clinician specialized in cancer care and blood disorders. Social workers will talk with you about your concerns, and help make a realistic plan that works for you to find help. Often, referrals to community resources such as individual or family counseling, support groups or mentor programs are coordinated.
If you or a loved one is considering self harm, or harming others as a result of emotional strain, go to your local emergency room immediately.
WMCC has developed this list of organizations that provide counseling services in Southwest Michigan. This list does not include all possible providers. We encourage you to discuss counseling with your insurance provider. They will provide you with a list of “in network” providers. WMCC respects the patient’s right to choice of provider, and does not recommend any specific provider. However, we strongly encourage addressing ongoing therapy pertaining to improving your health as recommended by your therapy team.
Free National Support
There are many non-profit organizations that provide support and education to cancer patients.
We recommend asking about the credentials and education level of the counselors and how they are able to assist cancer patients. Listed below are organizations WMCC has utilized for counseling support for cancer specific services for patients and caregivers.
WMCC respects the patient’s right to choice of provider, and does not recommend any specific provider however does strongly encourage addressing ongoing therapy pertaining to improving your health as recommended by your therapy team. Note: Providers are listed alphabetically without specific order or preference.
American Psychosocial Oncology Society (affiliated with the Wellness Community/Gilda’s Club) : A non-profit organization dedicated to linking patients to oncology related counselors.
American Cancer Society: A non-profit organization dedicated to linking cancer patients to resources. www.cancer.org
Cancer Care: A non-profit organization with fully licensed clinicians to assist with coping with cancer. www.cancercare.org
Livestrong: A non-profit organization dedicated to patient navigation.
For further information, call the WMCC Social Work Department at 269-373-7446, 269-384-8629, or 269-384-8686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
WMCC employs registered dietitians who provide complimentary nutrition counseling, upon physician referral, to WMCC patients by appointment. The dietitians also facilitate our Nutrition & Cooking Class. Call 269-373-0109 or 269-384-8678 for more information.
Community Mental Health Resources
- Crisis phone link in Kalamazoo: Gryphon Place
- Kalamazoo Community Mental Health link
- Calhoun County Community Mental Health
American Cancer Society’s
Look Good Feel Better Program
This program is facilitated by a beauty professional volunteer through the American Cancer Society to assist women in learning about makeup, skin care, nail care, and ways to deal with hair loss with replacement wigs, turbans, and scarves. Each woman gets a free makeup kit to use during and after the workshop. Please call the local American Cancer Society for registration at 1-800-227-2345.