Wellspring Alberta: closing the care gap
This year’s World Cancer Day theme is ‘Close the Care Gap,’ and that is precisely the goal of Wellspring Alberta, as it expands its outreach by joining forces with various regional support agencies to help build a stronger and more accessible cancer support network across Alberta.
“Whether you live in the prairies, the mountain towns, the bad lands, or the big cities in Central Alberta, Wellspring Alberta is here to ensure that anyone facing cancer has access to the mental and emotional resources they need to live as well as possible,” said Wellspring Outreach Manager Rebecca Perkins.
In southern Alberta, Wellspring has partnered with Lethbridge Family Services (LFS) and will run its monthly in person Cancer Connect program out of the LFS, Counseling, Outreach and Education location. Utilizing trained inhouse staff, the program provides a safe space for people living with cancer and their caregivers to connect, communicate, and receive strategies for supporting their emotional and mental health while living with cancer.
“Wellspring’s mandate is a natural fit for the services LFS provides. Specifically, we are both strongly invested in promoting health and wellness in the community; we share a common focus on diversity, equity and inclusion; and like Wellspring, we utilize research-based programs to build connection, share information, and provide support to those we serve,” said Lisa Lewis, Director of Counselling, Outreach and Education for LFS.
With this new collaboration and several others in the works, Wellspring aims to raise awareness of its support services for all Albertans; work closely with support agencies and healthcare professionals in rural regions, and increase accessibility of cancer support for all those who need it.
“Wellspring has played an important role in bridging the gap in our care system, primarily addressing the need for mental and emotional support for cancer survivors, and beyond that, addressing the gap in availability and accessibility of cancer support services across the province,” said Perkins. “With our rapidly expanding outreach services, and our flourishing online community, we are doing all we can to ensure that all cancer patients and their caregivers and families across the province can receive the support and tools they need to live as well as possible with the disease.”