How to support your mental health after a cancer diagnosis

Find the support you need and tackle any negative feelings about cancer.

A cancer diagnosis can be an overwhelming thing. There’s a lot to deal with and wrestling back control of your mental health can feel difficult.

You may experience a range of emotions and physical side effects such as Footnote [1]:

  • Shock
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Denial
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Fatigue or lack of sleep

The future may also seem uncertain, for you and your loved ones, but getting the right support for your mental health can give you strength.


Talking helps

Suppressing your feelings following a cancer diagnosis can make you feel worse.

Opening up to someone you know and trust can be a good way to get things off your chest. The emotional support from loved ones can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. It can also help them understand what you’re going through and let them support you better.

With health insurance from Aviva you’ll get access to a number of wellbeing services, including our Stress Counselling helpline. If things have become overwhelming for you then you can call the helpline and talk to trained counsellors in complete confidence about whatever’s on your mind.

Why not try online?

Sometimes a fellow cancer patient or survivor can also be a good person to talk to. Someone who’s been through or is going through the same thing as you is likely to understand your feelings and perspective. Online forums and support groups, such as the ones offered by Macmillan, can be a good place to discuss anything and everything about living with cancer. There are also plenty of in-person support groups you can try.


Use the professionals

You’re going to have plenty of questions about cancer and your treatment – don’t be afraid to ask them. Doctors. Nurses. They’re there to help, whether answering questions or just listening to you unload anything you need to unload.

Aviva pledges extensive cancer care as standard for its health insurance customers. So, if you’re worried about treatment then please know that with Aviva you’ll be supported every step of the way from diagnosis to aftercare.

If your mental health is really getting you down and you want to speak to a mental health professional, then you have lots of options. Your GP practice or your cancer doctor or nurse will be able to point you in the right direction, whether it’s therapy or a support group.

Cancer Charities

Charities, such as Macmillan Cancer Support, are also incredibly resourceful when it comes to helping cancer patients with their mental health. They know all the best routes to go down and can provide advice, resources, helplines, support groups, and help with many other aspects of living with cancer.


Look after your physical health

A cancer diagnosis can feel like you’ve lost control of your health. However, many of the same rules that applied to your physical wellbeing before your diagnosis still apply after it.

Taking a healthy approach to living can not only give your body the best chance of responding to treatment but can also provide a boost to your mental health.

You should consider Footnote [1]:

If you have health insurance with Aviva you’ll get access to offers at health and fitness clubs via our wellbeing services, as well as other services to help assess your overall health. We’ve put these in place to help incentivise and support your health, wellbeing, and fitness goals.

A healthy body can equal a healthy mind, so never underestimate the power of exercise, relaxation, and a balanced diet.

*For help with reducing alcohol consumption and stopping smoking, speak to your GP, doctors or nurses.


Use your cover to pay for your mental health treatment

We pride ourselves on both our cancer cover and the mental health cover we provide with our private medical insurance.

We realise the importance of mental health, which is why on our core cover we offer up to £2,000 for policy holders each year for out-patient treatment or GP referral to a psychiatric therapist or specialist.

You can also enhance your core cover (at an additional cost) to receive 28 days inpatient or day patient treatment for mental health.

So, whether it’s cancer or mental health related, you can easily make a claim on your health insurance, through MyAviva, over the phone, or online.

Once we’ve confirmed your claim meets the terms of your policy, we’ll step up and pay for the treatment directly, so you don’t have to worry about the fees.

It’s good to have one less thing to worry about. It takes Aviva.

Ready to get a quote?

If you’d like a quote, we’ll ask you to provide us with a few personal details and the date you want cover to start. We’ll also ask you about customisable cover options, like if you want anyone else added to the cover, and about any medical history you may have.

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