University supports Macmillan Cancer Talk Week

17 January 2014

Macmillan logo
Macmillan logo

Aberystwyth University is this week supporting Macmillan’s Cancer Talk Week (21-27 January) which emphasises the importance of talking about cancer with relatives or with a support network. 

A cancer diagnosis can present a frightening and often overwhelming challenge to the diagnosed person and members of their family.  This year Cancer Talk Week focuses on families and the aim of the week is to acknowledge the importance of supporting family members.   

To show its support for the campaign, Aberystwyth University has identified a range of resources that staff may find useful when dealing with the challenges of talking with someone affected by a cancer diagnosis. 

Professor Kate Bullen, Director of Institute of Human Sciences and Psychology lead for the South Wales Cancer Network explains, “Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be really difficult for everyone involved but talking about it can be even more difficult. 

“Although families want to provide support for the diagnosed person it can be very hard to have that conversation.  Employers and line managers can also find supporting employees who are experiencing cancer, either as the diagnosed person or as a family member, a testing task.  

“Managers can be apprehensive about raising the subject with the employee and can opt to avoid the issue to prevent causing distress.  The aim of Macmillan Cancer Talk Week is try to encourage people to be more open when talking and listening to those with affected by cancer. Being aware of the physical and psychological impact of cancer and its various treatments can reduce fears and anxieties.  

“There are a range of excellent accessible resources available that will help with the process of encouraging and supporting talk about cancer.” 

Susan Morris, General Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales said: “Cancer Talk Week is a way of encouraging everyone to be more open about cancer. We want people affected by cancer to realise that it is OK to need support, and that Macmillan is here to help them.  

“We offer face-to-face support via our nurses, information centres and support groups, as well as online and telephone support for those who prefer to access help that way. Asking for help when you are affected by cancer isn’t an admission of weakness.  It can take a huge amount of strength for people to admit they need help. That’s why Macmillan wants to be there for everyone who needs us.”

Aberystwyth University provides a comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is available from the Human Resources Website. The scheme provides support for employees dealing with difficult situations

The University also offers an Occupational Health service for its staff which enables both the staff and the University to work together in addressing specific health concerns and identifying appropriate forms of support.  More information can be found on the supporting staff pages:


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Kate Bullen
Institute of Human Sciences and Psychology
01970 622688 /