BY GEMMA CROTTY
Adolescence can already be a difficult time, being when you become your own person and seek independence. Therefore, during this stage, cancer may seem like an obstacle to newfound freedoms and opportunities.
However, in order to lessen the hardship caused by the illness, individuals are encouraged to tap into resources that will assist them in their journey, such as those described below:
Canteen is a website directed at those aged 12-25 years old, who are either dealing with cancer or a loved one’s cancer. It allows for individuals to chat with other young people, whether to discuss issues they are experiencing, or to simply form connections. Further, through Canteen Connect, you can receive details about in-person events where you can go to meet others dealing with cancer.
Livewire is an Australian platform specifically for those aged 12-20 with an illness or disability. Enabling individuals to chat with others across the country, it is described as a community that can be accessed anywhere and anytime, and is a place where you can find people who care. Furthermore, it holds a range of events that can keep you entertained, ranging from competitions to quiz nights and live-streamed events.
LGFB is an organisation dedicated to restoring the self-confidence of cancer patients by teaching them how to cope with the appearance-related effects of cancer. Offering practical tips for men, women, and teens, it also offers a range of classes covering topics of skincare, makeup, wigs, and headwear, making it a handy resource for young adults who tend to be self-conscious about their appearance.
Beyond Blue has a section on its website dedicated to people aged 12-25 years, which features information on mental health, such as how to cope with anxiety or depression. You can also speak with a counsellor by calling 1300 22 4636, chatting online or emailing. Alternatively, you can join an online forum to engage with the community.
Headspace specialises in mental health matters, and offers resources for those aged 12-25. Therefore, it can be a useful tool for young people who wish to alleviate anxiety caused by their cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, it contains a group chat feature on which users can choose to remain anonymous. However, you can also receive one-on-one counselling via the online chat.
Gemma Crotty is a volunteer blog writer for Solaris Cancer Centre from her home in Melbourne. Currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Communication at La Trobe University, she is considering a career in communications or journalism. Gemma has a strong humanities research background from her Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Sydney. She has a keen passion for writing and likes to find new ways to hone her skills and connect to others through her words.