Psychosocial services including patient and family counseling, psychiatry, vocational counseling, and spiritual care, which were formerly located inside BC Cancer – Vancouver's main centre have moved to a new space only 400 meters away. The distance is ideally situated close enough to the centre to allow patients currently receiving treatment to make use of paid patient parking while allowing those who are no longer receiving treatment to access supportive care in a space that has no associations with past treatments they may have found traumatic.
"Up to 45 per cent of cancer patients experience emotional distress requiring some form of professional support at some point in their cancer journey," says Dr. Alan Bates, at BC Cancer. "Returning to the same centre where they received cancer treatment can bring back memories and difficult emotions related to challenging treatments and being sick."
Up to 20 per cent of cancer patients meet criteria for a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The move to a new location brings psychosocial staff together which provides patients with a team approach to care.
"The new space will allow us to work together to provide care that is better tailored to each patient, whether that's one-to-one counseling, participation in a group, or some form of virtual care that people with cancer can participate in from home," says Dr. Bates. "It will have an incredible benefit and will undoubtedly result in a better quality of life for patients and their families."
The purpose-built facility will have 14 private consultation rooms, six phone rooms and two group session rooms. The area psychosocial care used to occupy previously at the BC Cancer – Vancouver centre will be renovated to provide more clinical care space. It is hoped the Vancouver Supportive Care Centre will serve as a model for other centres around the province.
The renovation of the space was made possible through generous donor support via the BC Cancer Foundation.