Dealing with cancer in one’s immediate environment is excruciatingly painful. Support groups, which afford people the opportunity to meet others in similar situations, encourages them to share their own pain and experiences, learn from the experiences of others, and most important—discover that they are not alone!
Zichron Menachem’s Support Groups are all led by professional psychologists. Based on the group leader’s recommendation, participants may receive a gift certificate to a restaurant, a weekend hotel stay or even short vacations abroad.
A light meal and buffet are served at every group meeting. The delicious fare is lovingly cooked, baked, and prepared by a devoted group of young volunteers who wish to ensure that the participants enjoy several hours of relative relaxation.
Many participants have expressed that their fellow support group members acted as their lifeline during their battle with cancer, and were more important to them at the time than family. Many have likewise remarked that they would sooner miss a family event than a support group session.
Given that each category of people understands only each other and needs to focus on its own respective issues, Zichron Menachem offers several support group tracks:
Support for our volunteers and young women in National Service
Zichron Menachem is there for them. The Day Center offers special support groups for our volunteers and young women participating in National Service. Members discuss issues, fears, anxieties, the pain of identifying with their patients and families, and the enormous challenge of conveying joy in the midst of heartbreak.
Support for siblings
Sibling support groups are divided by age in order to present issues on the proper intellectual and emotional level, discuss relevant hardships, and teach coping tools.
Support for adolescent cancer patients
It’s never easy being a teen, but life becomes even more complicated when you’re a teen with cancer.
Adolescence is the stage when the social scene is foremost, and the rejection and distancing of friends at this age is deeply hurtful.
Teens also begin contemplating their future—both personal and professional. When a child is battling cancer, thoughts of a hazy future are very frightening.
It’s sadly ironic that so many teens suffering from cancer feel that they have nowhere to turn. They are no longer children, but they are not yet adults.
At Zichron Menachem, we understand them and sympathize with the feelings of teens who feel that they don’t belong. That’s why we’ve established a club especially for them. It’s a place where they can meet and hang out with other teens who are enduring similar challenges. It’s a place to play pool and watch 3-D movies.
Once every two weeks, adolescent cancer patients assemble for a special club meeting in a warm, friendly, fun atmosphere. After an exciting event, they participate in a support group session during which they present their issues, hardships, and challenges and discuss the difficulties that they face as teens with cancer.
Support for bereaved parents
Zichron Menachem established a special support group for parents who ended the chapter in their life called Cancer in the most heartbreaking way imaginable. After months or years of battle and sacrifice, they lost, and they must now deal with the agony of their pain and grief.
Zichron Menachem’s Bereaved Parents Support Group is the time and place for parents to discuss ways to overcome pain, heal, deal with other family members (siblings, parents, spouse) who are having difficulty coping with the pain, ways to memorialize their lost child, and more.
Support for parents
Parent support groups focus on topics as the conflict between the patient’s needs and household needs; marital friction that results from the child’s illness; methods of dealing with the sick child, his siblings, extended family members, and medical staff; coping with pressure, anxiety, and marital relationships, etc.