Telegroups are professionally facilitated telephone based peer support groups available for parents of children with cancer, young people with cancer (up to the age of 24), and family members. Redkite Telegroups provide emotional support from the privacy of the participant’s own home and are cost free.
"It is like a have a filing cabinet in my head to hold all my thoughts, feelings and emotions in order but since my son’s diagnosis it’s like someone has pulled open all the draws of the filing cabinet and scattered all the files. I felt like I was standing in that room trying to sort out all the files but getting nowhere.
Now I feel that with the Telegroup and your (Redkite Telegroup facilitators) help and support we have been sorting through all those files (emotions, thoughts & feelings) together and slowly putting them back in order. Instead of trying to deal with everything at once, and just getting overwhelmed I know that I can deal with one thing at a time calmly and productively."
Participant in a parent Telegroup
How do telegroups work?
Groups of up to six people ‘meet’ together on the telephone for one hour each week for eight consecutive weeks. Redkite currently offers Telegroups for groups such as:
- parents of children diagnosed with cancer
- parents of adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer
- mixed groups for mums and dads
Redkite counsellors experienced in working with young people with cancer and their families facilitate these groups. Participants decide which themes they would like to discuss over the eight week program and themes usually include discussion around adjustment of family life after a child’s or young person’s cancer diagnosis, adjustment into a new ‘normal’ life and transitioning home after long periods of treatment at hospital.
Confidentiality of the group is one of Redkite’s highest priorities. What is talked about in the group stays in the group.
Redkite will be expanding the Telegroup Program in 2010 with the following key additional services:
Telegroups for grandparents
Grandparents are a very special group of people who often provide invaluable support for families when their grandchild is diagnosed with cancer: they are also often forgotten by care service providers. Redkite recognises the unique support needs of grandparents and welcomes contact from any grandparent across Australia whose life has been touched by childhood cancer.
Telegroups for bereaved parents
Redkite supports young people and families at any stage throughout the cancer experience. For some families this means support following the death of their child. Telegroups for bereaved parents allow families to keep connected to professionally facilitated peer support, build skills in adjusting to the intense life change the death of a child brings and reduce the sense of isolation that can result at this time.
To enquire or register for any of Redkite’s Telegroups contact Redkite Support on 1800 REDKITE (1800 733 548) or firstname.lastname@example.org