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Mental health and cancer (wellbeing support)

Private mental health and psychological wellbeing support for people with cancer, and their families at Schoen Clinic Chelsea, London

friend supporting woman with cancer to improve her mental health

Are you or a loved one facing the mental health challenges of a cancer diagnosis? At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, we understand how difficult this journey can be. 

Our dedicated specialists provide comprehensive psychological support tailored to each stage of your cancer journey—whether you're newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment, in remission, or facing end-of-life concerns. 

With compassionate care and expert services, we are here to support your mental wellbeing every step of the way. Discover how our specialist team can help you navigate these tough times.

How cancer affects mental health


A cancer diagnosis often brings to mind the physical challenges, but the mental health impact is equally significant. Recent research from Maggie’s found that 3 in 5 people with cancer feel that the mental challenges are harder to cope with than the physical ones.


Cancer can trigger various mental health symptoms, and while you might not experience all of them, understanding these challenges can help in seeking the right support.


Cancer and mental health: common symptoms:


  1. Anxiety: Fear and worry about the diagnosis, treatment, or future can cause restlessness, irritability, or physical symptoms like a racing heart.

  2. Depression: Persistent sadness, hopelessness, or a loss of interest in activities, accompanied by fatigue, changes in appetite or sleep, and difficulty concentrating.

  3. Fear of recurrence: The fear of cancer returning can be overwhelming, leading to heightened anxiety or depression.

  4. Body image concerns: Physical changes from treatment, such as hair loss, weight changes, or scarring, can affect self-esteem and intimate relationships.

  5. Grief and loss: Grieving the loss of health, independence, or future plans can lead to feelings of sadness, anger, or numbness.

  6. Social isolation: Treatment can disrupt social connections, causing loneliness and exacerbating mental health issues.

  7. Cognitive changes: Chemotherapy can cause "chemo brain," leading to difficulties with memory, concentration, or multitasking.

  8. Post-traumatic stress symptoms: Traumatic experiences related to diagnosis and treatment can cause intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, or hyper-vigilance.

  9. Difficulty coping: The emotional and physical challenges of treatment can feel overwhelming, increasing stress and emotional distress.


Consultant Psychiatrist and Cancer Specialist, Dr Greg Shields, discusses these challenges in detail in the video below.



Contact our compassionate team in London for specialised cancer mental health support


At Schoen Clinic Chelsea in London, we provide specialised cancer patient mental health services. With appointments available within 24 hours, you can begin your treatment or therapy with minimal delay.


To access private treatment quickly, refer yourself at any time to suit you.

Managing mental health during a cancer diagnosis


If you had a mental health condition before your cancer diagnosis, this new challenge can uniquely affect your psychological wellbeing. The added stress may worsen existing conditions for some, while others may not notice significant changes.


Challenges you might face:

  • Triggered trauma or symptoms: Previous trauma or symptoms may resurface.

  • Heightened anxiety or panic: Increased stress can lead to more frequent anxiety or panic attacks.

  • Worsening depression: Feelings of hopelessness and sadness may intensify.

  • Isolation: You might feel more isolated and disconnected from others.

  • Addiction relapse: There's a risk of relapse if you have a history of addiction.What mental health support is there for cancer patients and their families?


Comprehensive mental health support for cancer patients and families in London


Cancer profoundly impacts patients and their families on multiple levels. Psychosocial cancer care, also known as psychiatric oncology or psycho-oncology, addresses the unique mental health challenges associated with cancer. 


This specialised field bridges the gap between physical and mental health, integrating psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy with medical and palliative care to provide holistic support.

Our cancer and mental health services include:


  • Expert psychiatric evaluation: Comprehensive mental health assessments by experienced psychiatric consultants.

  • Specialist medication management: Tailored strategies for managing medications, especially with complex oncology treatments.

  • Support for existing conditions: Optimising mental health care during cancer treatment.

  • New condition diagnosis and treatment: Addressing mental health issues arising from cancer diagnosis and treatment.

  • Adjustment support: Helping patients cope with changes in health status, body image, and function.

  • Treatment coping assistance: Support for mental health impacts of radiology, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy.

  • Specialist psychological therapy: Including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), schema therapy, and more.

  • Trauma-focused therapy: Including EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprogramming).

  • Advanced treatment options: Beyond standard medication management, including medicinal cannabis, fully certified and registered at Schoen Clinic Chelsea.

  • Coordination with physical health specialists: Liaison with oncologists, pain control teams, and other specialists.

  • Assistance with complex capacity issues: Support with decision-making regarding cancer treatment.


Whether dealing with a recent diagnosis, navigating treatment complexities, or seeking post-remission support, our team of mental health experts is here to provide compassionate and comprehensive care.

Where to access mental health counselling for cancer patients in London


At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, we offer specialised mental health services and counselling for cancer patients and their families. Our team of expert clinicians provides a range of therapies in calming, therapeutic consultation rooms designed for one-to-one counselling.


In addition, Dr James Woolley also offers expert mental health support for private cancer patients at the Royal Marsden, Cavendish Square. Dr Greg Shields also provides specialised care at The London Clinic on Harley Street, ensuring comprehensive support in accessible locations.


London mental health specialists for cancer support


At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, our multidisciplinary team specialises in mental health support for individuals and families dealing with cancer.


We offer a range of psychosocial interventions, including cancer patient counselling, education, coping strategies, and psychological support. Our services include individual, group, and family therapy, featuring models like CBT, embodied psychotherapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and integrative and psychodynamic therapies.


Our specialised psychological services support cancer patients at any stage, working closely with medical teams to address psychological needs from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.


This webpage was reviewed by Dr Greg Shields, Consultant Psychiatrist and Cancer Specialist Psychiatrist on 16/05/2024. Next review date: 16/05/2025

Dr James Woolley

Consultant Psychiatrist | ADHD Specialist

Dr James Woolley

Pilar Isla Rodriguez

Psychotherapist

Pilar Isla Rodriguez

Kristin McCarthy

Integrative Therapist

Kristin McCarthy

Darja Lee

Integrative Psychotherapist

Darja Lee

Emma Johnson

Principle Systemic Family Psychotherapist

Emma Johnson

Dr Katherine Coutsoudis

Chartered Psychologist

Dr Katherine Coutsoudis

Michelle Knowles

Highly Specialist Occupational Therapist

Michelle Knowles

Dr Tara Tofiq

Consultant General Adult Psychiatrist

Dr Tara Tofiq

Isabelle Nussbaum

Integrative Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Isabelle Nussbaum

Dr Daniel Masud

Consultant General & Addictions Psychiatrist | ADHD Specialist

Dr Daniel Masud

Dr Werner Kierski

Psychotherapist

Dr Werner Kierski

Lorraine Green

Psychotherapist

Lorraine Green

Dr Lorena Dumitrache

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

Dr Lorena Dumitrache

Dr Greg Shields

Consultant Psychiatrist and Cancer Specialist Psychiatrist

Dr Greg Shields

Evangelia Mylona

Psychotherapist

Evangelia Mylona

Gabriele McErlean

Lead Psychotherapist

Gabriele McErlean

Jahanara Khatun

Counselling Psychologist

Jahanara Khatun

Magdalena Garcia

Clinical Psychologist & Integrative Psychotherapist

Magdalena Garcia

Dr Joan Brunton

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Joan Brunton

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