Cancer Care Counselling Service

Cancer Care Support

We offer counselling to individuals who have been diagnosed with any form of cancer or are at any stage of treatment for cancer. Counselling enables the client to explore how their current problems are affecting them and what issues may need to be addressed.


  • To improve mental health and emotional wellbeing for adults with cancer and their carers
  • To reduce mental and emotional distress experienced by clients
  • To increase acceptance of illness by the client
  • To increase the range of coping strategies available to the client
  • To increase the level of support available to clients
  • To increase the accessibility and timeliness of services
  • To ensure clients receive appropriate services


  • Clients referred by the Macmillan Information Centre and from staff working within Sunderland Royal Hospital
  • Referrals are made by the Macmillan Information and Support centre Manager direct to Sunderland Counselling Services Administrative staff at the office base.  All referrals to be made with client’s knowledge and explicit consent.

Response times by Cancer Care counsellor

  • We aim to see cancer patients for assessment within TWO WEEKS of referral


  • Counselling is carried out in a counselling room at the Macmillan Information and Support Centre, Sunderland Royal Hospital
  • Each client is offered six counselling sessions in total.  Each session is for the duration of one hour and can be on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

Exclusion Criteria

The service is not available to the following:

  • Patients with complex psychiatric histories
  • Major mental health difficulties
  • Addictions and issues relating to substance misuse
  • Active and recent suicidal behaviour and ideation
  • Severe challenging behaviour such as aggression and violence
  • People under the age of 18

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