Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation Launches Cancer Support Program | the lawyer


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In Circular Head, a new program promotes a whole community approach to cancer care. Called the Healing Journey, the program is run by the Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation, in partnership with UTAS and Cancer Australia, and focuses on integrating Aboriginal cultural understanding into the provision of cancer support. In its early days, the main objective of the program was to involve Elders, family members and the wider community in providing support, with help available to all affected, whether directly or indirectly. In other news, CASC and Cancer Australia support worker Kelly Burke said the program grew out of observations from a previous UTAS dementia project, where seniors shared the importance of focusing on holistic health when providing support to Indigenous peoples. Cancer care is no different, she said. “There’s a lot of anxiety for anyone coming in with this (cancer) diagnosis or this fear of a diagnosis,” she said. For Indigenous Australians, this may be further increased, with the cancer death rate increasing by 26% between 1998 and 2015, while decreasing by 16% for non-Indigenous Australians over the same period, according to Cancer Australia. RELATED: Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation Offers In-Country Experience for UTAS Students Compared to non-indigenous people in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also more likely to have advanced-stage cancer development at the time of diagnosis. This program hopes to help change that, Ms Burke said. “A lot of people don’t know where to start, and that can be such a hurdle in itself,” she said. Exploring what tailored support might look like and breaking down fears or apprehensions about accessing treatment was key, Ms Burke said. “There is still a lot of fear and shame in being identified as indigenous for some people,” she said. For others, hospitals can retrieve keepsakes from family members who come in and don’t come out, she said. “For the older generation, that fear is still there. … These kinds of programs offering that support can break that cycle and that trauma.” It’s about offering support the way someone wants it. “, she said. For some For others, it will be about listening, organizing trips around the country or making sure their loved ones have a place too “When you’re going through (cancer), you have a way to ground yourself or de-stress, a way to have something tangible to hold on to…is important,” Ms. Burke said, “That cultural connection is different for everyone . “It’s just such a wide range of things that people need help with. With culturally appropriate care, it’s about respecting differences.” For more information on the healing journey, contact the Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:



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