Support for you

The Cancer Services team caring for you will provide you with emotional support and information from diagnosis to during and after your cancer treatment.

The Trust has a Macmillan Information and Support Service to provide a range of information on all aspects of cancer to patients.

We also have a Psycho-oncology (counselling) Service available for cancer patients. This Service provides the opportunity to talk about difficulties related to a cancer diagnosis and is provided by a Clinical Psychologist and a Cancer Focus NI Counsellor working within Cancer Services throughout the Northern Trust.

Macmillan Information and Support Service

The Macmillan Information and Support Service provides quality and comprehensive information and support, to anyone who has concerns about cancer, including family, friends and carers.

The Service works with health care professionals to enhance and supplement information already provided in areas such as transport, health improvement programmes, local support services available, finances, treatment and care.

The service is staffed by a Macmillan Healthcare Professional, who is available to listen to you and discuss how cancer is affecting your life and signpost you to services which will offer support. Some examples of what people ask are:

  • How can I learn more about the type of cancer I have?
  • Who can I speak to about benefits?
  • How do I tell my children?
  • How do I talk to my friend who has cancer?
  • Where would I find a local walking group?
  • How do I care for my loved one with cancer?

All the resources and information booklets are free or can be borrowed, some are suitable for people with special needs or are available in different languages.


The Macmillan Information and Support Manager can be contacted on:

Telephone: 02894424000 text 333079 / 334046
Telephone (mobile): 077 9584 5435

If you have a urgent query please contact Macmillan Cancer Support helpline free on 0808 808 0000 or alternatively contact Cancer Focus Northern Ireland Helpline free on 0800 783 3339.

Psycho-oncology (counselling) Service

This Service provides psychological support to adults affected by cancer.

When a person receives a diagnosis of cancer it can be very frightening for both the patient and their families. It is possible to experience a wide range of feelings, some of which can be difficult to deal with, such as low mood, anxiety, feelings of panic, or emotions which patients and their families may find hard to cope with.

How can the Psycho-oncology Service help?

Some people may want to explore their situation as part of their adjustment to a diagnosis of cancer. Others may have greater difficulty coping with their anxiety and how that is impacting on their lives (or the lives of those around them). The psychological distress felt by a patient and their family may relate to the diagnosis itself, the treatment plan, any symptoms encountered, including pain, or problems with body image. These difficulties may require a variety of different approaches to resolve them.

This Service provides a range of psychological and supportive therapies tailored to the needs of patients and their families. The purpose of the service is to enable people to adjust to the change in their lives in the best possible way for them. One to- one, couple and group therapy are provided.

The Psycho-oncology Service also provides a confidential service to staff working with cancer patients as well as training and consultation on the psychological aspects of cancer.

Who provides this Service?

The service is provided by a Clinical Psychologist and an Cancer Focus Northern Ireland Counsellor working within Cancer Services throughout the Northern Trust. These therapists provide the opportunity to talk about difficulties related to a cancer diagnosis and provision of further assessment and treatment of problems where required.

What happens when I contact this Service?

Each individual’s needs will be identified. You will be allocated to a team member depending upon your particular difficulties and the help that you require. Then you will be offered an initial appointment. This may be at our base in Fern House, Antrim Area Hospital or in a locality closer to your home.

Initial appointments can last between one and one and a half hours but standard sessions are one hour. A team member will help you to identify the particular type of help you require.

How do I contact this Service?

You may refer yourself to the Service or, alternatively, any hospital or community based medical professional, including GPs, Nurse Specialists and Hospital Consultants can refer you.

The Service is available on a part-time basis Tues-Thurs 9am-5pm.


The Psycho-oncology Service can be contacted on:
Valerie Magowan, Cancer Focus NI Counsellor Telephone: 028 9442 4218
Dr Nuala Brady, Principal Clinical Psychologist Telephone: 028 2563 5324 / 028 9442 4705