Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment is tough. It takes a toll on you physically and emotionally, but it can be easy to ignore your emotions or feelings because you're so focused on your physical health.
Please don't ignore your mental health. Women who have experienced breast cancer are at increased risk of depression so it's extremely important to get professional help if you think you might be suffering from depression.
Any combination of the following symptoms can be a sign you have depression:
- constantly feeling down or helpless
- having little interest or pleasure in doing things you used to enjoy
- being tired all the time
- feelings of emptiness or loneliness
- low self esteem
- problems with concentration
Many women find it helps to talk to others who have had breast cancer or to a counsellor or psychologist. BCAC has compiled a list of counsellors below. It is not intended to be exhaustive and you may find others who can help you. If you are seeking counselling or psychological support please do talk to you breast care nurse and/or your GP as they will have advice on the next steps.
You may also find it helpful to check out this website www.depression.org.nz
Upper/Mid North Island
Northland – Cancer Society Northland, based in Whangarei - Northland liaison nurses: 0800 366 066 or 09 437 5593 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Take referrals from breast care nurses and GPs but also self-referral - Click for more information
Auckland - Danute Leatham - Millenium Consulting, 88 Jervois Rd, Ponsonby - 09 981 5977 – Fee - https://millenniumconsulting.co.nz//
Auckland - Dove House, Eastern Bays Hospice, 207A Riddell Rd - 09 575 4555 – Free service - Visit their website
Auckland - Dr Kelly Kerrisk - 021 032 8020 - email@example.com - Fee - GP/Health professional referral or self-referral - https://www.kellykerriskpsychology.co.nz
Waikato/Bay of Plenty - Cancer Society Waikato/Bay of Plenty - 07 903 5809 - firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com - Cancer Society funding within certain criteria - Cancer Society Waikato/Bay of Plenty
Waikato/Bay of Plenty - Maureen Trainor - Clinical Psychologist, 100 Clarence Street, Hamilton - 07 839 1941 or 0274 913 860 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Fee but also works with the local Cancer Society.
Tauranga - Cancer Society Waikato/Bay of Plenty - Liaison nurses: Anne Davidson, Colleen Kendrick - 07 571 2035- email@example.com - Cancer Society funding within certain criteria.
Rotorua - Cancer Society Waikato/Bay of Plenty - Liaison nurses: Sarah Doyle, Andrea Mitchell - 07 349 4556 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Cancer Society funding within certain criteria.
Lower North Island
Taranaki - Taranaki Psychological Services, Taranaki Base Hospital, David Street, Westown - Community Outpatients - 06 753 6139 extn 7699 - Provision of psychology services to patients who meet TDHB criteria - Click for more information
Wairarapa – See also Skylight Counselling – Based in Wellington but have counsellors in the Wairarapa.
Nelson/Marlborough - Cancer Society Nelson - 03 539 3662 - Click for more information
Nelson/Marlborough - Cancer Society Marlborough - 03 579 4379 - Click for more information
Christchurch - Cancer Society Canterbury - 0800 CANCER (226 237) - Contact the cancer information nurses to discuss - Cancer Society funding available within certain criteria. Click here for more information.
Christchurch - Canterbury DHB - Oncology Department - Patients having chemo are able to access counselling services at the Cancer Society through the Oncology Dept. - Click here for more information
Christchurch - The St Georges Cancer Care Centre, 131 Leinster Rd, Strowan, Christchurch - 03 355 1700 - Fee - Doctor referral required - Click here for more information.
Otago/Southland - Cancer Society Otago & Southland - 03 477 7447 - Supportive care team - Take referrals from BCNs but also individual enquiries.