Professionally-led online support
groups for Canadians affected by cancer

Caregiver Support Group

This is an online support group for caregivers who are caring for family members and/or friends with any cancer diagnosis. The support group includes skill building topics based on a published cancer manual. Weekly chapters are delivered by email to each participant which may take up to 15 minutes to read and participants can complete it at their own pace prior to the next session. 

In addition, this support group will include a research component to evaluate the usefulness of a new artificial intelligence system (AI) built into this group.  The AI will review texts posted during the session and help facilitators identify and respond to group members' emotional needs more effectively.  AI will also recommend additional individual tailored information and resources.

The first session will start on Tuesday June 22, 2021. The session will occur weekly for a total of 8 weeks. Each session lasts for approximately 90 minutes at the following times:

12:00 PM to 1:30 PM Pacific

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Mountain (Saskatchewan)

2:00 PM to 3:30 PM Central 

3:00 PM to 4:30 PM Eastern

4:00 PM to 5:30 PM Atlantic 

Please register if you are interested in connecting with other caregivers.

Ready to sign up? Read this first!

Cancer Chat at de Souza Institute offers private, professionally-facilitated discussion groups where the same small group of people (6-9) meet online every week for 10 weeks.

Our groups are a place to speak openly about matters that are important and of concern to you, to talk about ways of coping with cancer-related challenges, and where you can expect compassion and understanding from others. We usually cannot match you with others on the basis of your type of cancer or treatment, so discussions tend to be broadly about coping rather than specifically about medical treatments. Despite differences, we find that group members usually feel understood and supported, and derive knowledge, insight and comfort.

To maximize your group experience, we ask that you will:

  1. Make a commitment to your group. Attend every week, log in on time, and stay engaged for the entire chat session. We recognize that situations will occasionally arise that may interfere with your attendance -- if so, let your Cancer Chat facilitator know, or the members in your group. If you miss 2 of the first 3 sessions, you will be removed from the group.
  2. Give and receive compassion and respect. Everyone matters equally. Share your experiences and express interest in the lives of other group members. The online group is a place where you do not have to pretend, hold back or feel like you have to protect others from what you are really experiencing. You do however need to speak kindly to one another as a way of showing respect and compassion. On the rare occasion that a member does not abide by this rule, we will remove him or her from the group.
  3. Maintain confidentiality. You can talk about your own experiences in this online group, but not the experiences of others. Do not disclose your discussions outside of the group, and do not leave your chat room open or allow others to view transcripts.
  4. Communicate with our Cancer Chat team. Cancer Chat is a health care program, professionally-led, and there are several communications and procedures that must take place before and after your group. These steps help you be prepared for your group, and ensure safety and quality of our program. Look for our emails, and complete the requested steps promptly. If you are uncertain that this is what you are looking for, call or email us -- we will be pleased to discuss further or help you find something that is a better fit. Alternatively, view the the resources section of our website where you will find other approved supports.

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