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Many patients describe a cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship as a journey — sometimes one that comes with confusing maps and directions or without signposts and guidebooks. If you or a loved one need support, you have many options here.

Our group of psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors provide compassionate support and symptom management for the challenges that often come with a cancer diagnosis. If you or your loved one is interested in speaking with a member of our counseling team, please call (919) 966-3494 to make an appointment.

Some of the services we offer include:

  • Treatment of depression, anxiety, mental changes, sleep problems and other symptoms caused by cancer and its treatment
  • Help coping with cancer
  • Individual, couples, family and/or group therapy
  • Support for children with cancer and healthy children whose parents have cancer

UNC and CCSP Affiliated Support Groups

See our Resources for other local area support programs, and peer support programs: support services that connects anyone touched by any type of cancer with another person whose experiences with cancer are similar.

Keeping COVID-19 precautions in mind, most services and groups are still being offered and are online. Please contact the program coordinator if you are interested in participating.

Breast Cancer Support for Young Women

About: For women ages 18-45 with breast cancer
When: 1st Tuesday of the month, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Coco Bean Coffee Shop, Chapel Hill
Contact: Michelle Manning, mmanning@unc.edu

Caregiver Conversations

About: Planned topics and social time for caregivers. More caregiver resources online at our Caregivers website.
When: Tuesdays, 2 – 3 p.m.
Where: Held virtually due to the pandemic
Please register to attend Caregiver Conversations

Caregiver Dinners

About: For caregivers of patients on those units
When: Thursdays, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Where: BMT Unit & 4 Oncology

Circle of Support

About: For those who have lost a loved one. Support from hospice staff and volunteers.
When: 2nd Monday of the month, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Where: SECU Jim and Betsy Bryan Hospice Home
Contact: Ann Ritter by phone at (984) 215-2650 or by email at ann.ritter@unchealth.unc.edu

Coping with Cancer

About: For patients undergoing first-time cancer treatment
When: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Where: Virtual, held via WebEx (group coordinator will send info)
Please register to attend Coping with Cancer

Friday Family Coffee

About: Weekly breakfast for patients and caregivers
When: Fridays, 9 – 11 a.m.
Where: Patient & Family Resource Center, Lobby

Grief Support

About: Join us for a hybrid of psychoeducation and group discussion/peer support for folks who have lost a loved one to cancer
When: Meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month, 2:30 – 4 p.m.
Where: All sessions are virtual
Contact: Please contact Justin Yopp by email at justin_yopp@med.unc.edu or by phone at (984) 974-8113 for more information or to make a referral

iCANcer: Teen & Parent Support Group

About: For patients of UNC Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology and their siblings ages 12 and up. Parents meet separately.
When: Varies, contact for details
Where: Ronald McDonald House, Chapel Hill and outings in the community
Contact: Meghan Fox, meghan.fox@unchealth.unc.edu

Living with Dying

Living with Dying is a support group that provides an opportunity for patients with advanced cancer to connect with others around psychosocial, emotional, spiritual and logistical issues that often arise for those who are nearing the end of life.

The group will be facilitated by UNC Health Care clinicians with expertise in caring for those facing a serious, life-limiting illness. The group will meet weekly, virtually/online for a series of six total meetings. The support group will provide participants with a safe space to talk about their mortality and to learn more about how to manage logistical and practical issues that often arise for those who are nearing the end of life. It is our hope that by talking about and preparing for death, participants may be able to focus on living more fully for whatever time remains.

For more information about participation, please contact either Jennifer Hanspal, RN, at (919) 619-1551 or Ellen Ozier, SW, at (984) 974-5627

Sharing Hope

About: For patients with recurrent or metastatic cancer
When: 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Where: Virtual, held via WebEx (group coordinator will send info)
Please register to attend Sharing Hope

Triangle Bladder Cancer Support

About: For patients and caregivers affected by bladder cancer
When: 2nd Tuesday of the month, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: SECU Family House, Chapel Hill
Contact: Ritchie Briggs, (919) 493-0551

Young Adult Meet Up

Sponsored by the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Support Program  in partnership with Duke Cancer Institute

About: For young adults in cancer treatment and their friends, partners and family. This is NOT a support group, but rather just a cool space to hang out with some folks who have experienced cancer treatment No need to RSVP, just show up!
When: 2nd Tuesday of the month, 6 – 8 p.m.
Where: Namu Restaurant, 5420 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707, Durham
Contact: Lauren Lux, lauren_lux@med.edu.edu

Widowed Parent Support Groups

Mother’s Group

About: There is no cost for attending. You and your family do not have to be patients at UNC or affiliated with UNC in any way. You are welcome to bring your children! They will be supervised in a separate room and given dinner, drinks and activities. Dinner will also be provided for you.
When: 1st Tuesday of every month, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: SECU Family House,  123 Old Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill 27517
Registration and information: Diane Bensley by phone at (984) 974-2548 or by email at diane.bensley@unchealth.unc.edu

Father’s Group

About: There is no cost for attending. You and your family do not have to be patients at UNC or affiliated with UNC in any way. You are welcome to bring your children! They will be supervised in a separate room and given dinner, drinks, and activities. Dinner will also be provided for you.When: 3rd Tuesday of every month, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: SECU Family House, 123 Old Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill 27517
Contact: For registration and more information, please contact Justin Yopp by phone at (984) 974-8113 or by email at justin_yopp@med.unc.edu

Writing for Resilience

About: A writing group open to all in the hospital and community. Come and enjoy a respite from the demands of your day–to reflect and write. No writing experience necessary!  Please enter in silence and begin writing in response to the opening prompt on the whiteboard, or about anything else on your mind. Facilitated by Carol Henderson, writer and workshop leader; Heidi Gessner, UNC Hospitals Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator; and Joy Javits, founder of DooR to DooR.
When: Every Tuesday from 12 – 1 p.m.
Where: Patient and Family Resource Center, which is located on the ground floor of UNC Cancer Hospital.
Contact: Heidi Gessner, heidi.gessner@unchealth.unc.edu

Psycho-Oncology Services Director

Psycho-Oncology Services Staff