Peer Mentors ready to help men affected by cancer
On Saturday November 19, International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities.
It highlights positive role models and raises awareness of men’s well-being. The theme for 2022 is “Helping Men and Boys.”
This year, Action Cancer is shining a light on its Peer Mentoring Programme which has been up and running for nine years. Peer Mentor support is provided by a team of dedicated volunteers, all of whom have personal experience of a cancer diagnosis.
Following three days of bespoke training and assessment, Mentors are matched with clients based on shared experience. Mentors are matched with Mentees in relation to their specific cancer type and treatment pathway, to provide a listening ear and empathetic one-to-one support.
Mentors have a very real understanding of what Mentees are going through and can therefore help them to improve motivation, reduce anxiety and develop coping strategies.
Action Cancer has eight male Peer Mentors ready to help men affected by skin, prostate, colorectal, throat and pancreatic cancers. The charity is calling upon men dealing with a diagnosis and treatment in any of these listed cancer types to come forward and find out more about the support available.
Leigh White, Services Support Officer at Action Cancer, heads up the Peer Mentoring service and explains why this service is so important:
“The Peer Mentoring service has grown and expanded in recent years, meaning that we can now offer support for a wide range of cancer types in both men and women. This November we are reaching out to men across Northern Ireland affected by cancer to let them know that we are here. The service is available via phone calls, text and face-to-face meet ups.
“Peer Mentoring can be accessed at the time of diagnosis or during or after treatment. It is fully flexible, so as a Mentee’s needs change, so can the mentoring support. It’s a service that has compassion and empathy at its core and it’s one that we are really proud of.”
37-year-old Connor Graham, a Surveyor from Four Winds, South Belfast, is one of the charity’s recently trained Peer Mentors. Connor was diagnosed with skin cancer in January 2021 and, whilst under continual assessment and review, is doing really well. Connor wanted to use his experience to help others going through a similarly challenging time:
"Training to become a Peer Mentor and now actively supporting clients has been a great opportunity. It’s really satisfying to know that by listening and sharing a little of my experience, I can help my clients feel more supported and less alone."
For more information or to access the Peer Mentoring Programme please contact Leigh White at Action Cancer on 07580 133757 or [email protected]