W_C_S_M_SquarePsychological care is typically considered a secondary factor to therapeutic treatment after a cancer diagnosis. However, more than 87 percent of cancer patients stated that relief from emotional distress would significantly improve their quality of life, according to the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Recognizing the vital role that emotional support plays in the psychological and physiological well-being of cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers, in 2015 Imerman Angels declared August to be World Cancer Support Month. Proclamations from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made it official.

Those whose lives have been impacted by cancer have to manage not only the physical issues of the disease, but the psychosocial challenges that arise as well. It can become overwhelming and despite the best intentions of family members and friends, the affected person may feel isolated.

This year, Chicago-based Imerman Angels celebrates 10 years of ensuring that no one faces cancer alone. The organization carefully matches cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers with a Mentor Angel – someone who has been there and who can offer support. This free one-on-one service helps to alleviate fear, uncertainty, confusion and feelings of isolation for support seekers. To date, Imerman Angels has connected people in all 50 states and 60 countries!

While family and friends have the best intentions, cancer fighters often feel like no one in their life can relate to their experience. Some cancer fighters also fear the uncertainty of what lies ahead of them in terms of treatment. Mentor Angels provide them with the support of someone who has gone through the process. They can answer questions and empathize with the cancer fighter.

Caregivers can fall prey to neglecting their own well-being because they are so focused on taking care of someone with a serious disease. They are also vulnerable to physical and/or emotional stress that can manifest itself in a variety of challenging ways. Caregiver Mentor Angels provide them with someone to talk to who does not need anything from the caregiver, as well as someone who understands the unique issues they face.

Increasingly sophisticated research and advancements in treatment have led to a growing number of cancer survivors. While this is wonderful, it has also highlighted the fact that some survivors face physical and/or emotional latent side effects of treatment. Mentor Angels demonstrate to survivors that they can have a high quality of life after cancer and THRIVE!

To date, Imerman Angels has connected over 26,000 cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers globally.  By working with fellow cancer partner organizations (CPOs) and individuals devoted to the cause, especially during World Cancer Support Month, we can help far more.

There is a variety of ways to participate in this occasion, regardless of whether you are part of an organization or an individual who feels passionate about the cause. They include posting about World Cancer Support Month on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; and sending dedicated emails as an organization or individual. Organizations can also include information about the occasion in their newsletters to spread awareness. The ultimate goal is to ensure those affected by cancer are informed about the resources available to them.

Learn more about how you can become involved with World Cancer Support Month and spread awareness about vital resources and support for those whose lives have been impacted by cancer. You can also contact Imerman Angels about the occasion at wcsm@imermanangels.org.