Virtual Support Groups Offered for Patients and Families Facing Cancer

SPRINGFIELD — During a cancer journey, patients and their families often benefit from the support of others. To that end, Baystate Health announced that virtual support groups will be held in 2024 by Camille St. Onge, licensed clinical social worker and oncology social worker.

For many years, people had to travel to a predetermined location in order to attend addiction support-group meetings. As a result of restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic and because of the increasing availability of digital services, these groups now meet online.

“Offering support groups virtually brings people together regardless of their location,” St. Onge said. “Sharing concerns with a support group can be a beneficial way for people facing cancer to get the help they need to cope with the physical and emotional concerns that arise during and after a cancer diagnosis. While support and self-help groups can vary greatly, groups share one thing in common: they are a place where people can share personal stories, express emotions, and be heard in an atmosphere of acceptance, understanding, and encouragement.”

The support groups are designed to help patients, their families, and caregivers cope with the challenges of a cancer diagnosis. They include:

• General Cancer Support Group: first Wednesday of each month, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.;

• Partners in Caregiving: second Wednesday of each month, 5-6:30 p.m.;

• Expressive Writing Through Cancer, third Wednesday of each month, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and

• Breast Cancer Support Group, fourth Wednesday of each month, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

All meetings are currently held virtually and made possible by funds raised by the Walk of Champions. For more information, contact St. Onge at (413) 239-7239 or cstomagin@gmail.com.