Beating bowel cancer together

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week

Sunday 9 May 2021

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (10 – 16 May 2021), we're talking about the different ways you can look after your emotional wellbeing.

Living with bowel cancer can be a rollercoaster at times, and this can take a toll on your mental health. Not only for patients, but for your loved ones too.

It's been a very difficult year and coronavirus continues to affect our lives. Many of us share the same anxieties about the future, and those who already live with a mental health problem could be facing additional challenges too.

We're all in this together, we hear you, we're listening and we can provide help and support for you at every step of the way: 

  • Our support and information on emotional wellbeing is here for you and your loved ones. Read our tips on how to manage fear, anxiety and depression, how to develop good sleeping habits as well as coping with a diagnosis.
  • Read our blog about help on living with bowel cancer and coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, from Claire Foster, Professor of Psychosocial Oncology at the University of Southampton and a member of our Scientific Advisory Board.
  • Walking, along with other physical activity, is a wonderful way to boost your mental health. Watch our patron Sean Fletcher's video, in which he shares how he loves to walk in local parks and along the River Thames in London. He's supporting Walk Together – our annual sponsored five mile walks that brings people together to show support for those undergoing treatment, to remember loved ones and to help stop people dying of bowel cancer.
  • In the early days following a diagnosis, you or your loved ones may feel all sorts of emotions. People have described feeling shocked, numb, sad, scared, angry, or even a sense of relief, among other things. Our information on coping with a diagnosis may help you talk about your emotions, and where you can find further support.
  • Our Living well booklet describes some of the feelings you might be having after you finish treatment, as well as where you and your loved ones can find support.
  • Listen to our podcast where BBC's George Alagiah interviews Greig Trout along with Professor Claire Foster about looking after your own emotional health.
  • Research suggests that what we eat may affect not just our physical health, but also our mental health and wellbeing. Our Eating well booklet provides information about your diet during and after bowel cancer treatment.
  • Once treatment is over, your focus might shift to improving your general and emotional health, whilst also trying to regain a sense of normality. Our living with and beyond bowel cancer information describes how the disease can affect your daily life and where you can find further help and advice.
  • Read top tips from our community on what they're doing to stay mentally and physically active during these difficult times.
  • Contact our nurses with any questions or concerns you have about your mental health.
  • Visit our online community for people affected by the disease. It's a welcoming place to ask questions, read about people's experiences and support each other.
  • Read our Real Life Stories of people affected by bowel cancer.

If you're worried about your mental health, please contact your GP for expert help and support. Charities such as Mind can also provide information and advice about your mental wellbeing.

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