UW Health psychologist says mental health important during cancer care

Uw Health American Family Childrens Hospital
Courtesy of UW Health

MADISON, Wis. — Tuesday marks International Childhood Cancer Day, and one UW Health psychologist says mental health is an important aspect of cancer care.

Pediatric health psychologist Stephanie Farrell says that mental health support is built into the cancer care team at American Family Children’s Hospital.

“We are there to support families through diagnosis and treatment,” Farrell said. “We listen to them and create a safe space for them to process the medical trauma they are enduring.”

Cancer affects hundreds of children across Wisconsin each year, a challenging experience that has become even harder during the pandemic.

“Many of these children become immunocompromised,” Farrell said. “The pandemic has also been quite isolating, and a support system of loved ones is so important for those going through cancer treatment.”

With the return of in-person care, Farrell says she’s glad to get back to helping families face to face.

“It’s humbling and inspiring,” she said. “Any advice I might impart has come from what these families have taught me over the years.”