Help on end of line

Cancer Council helpline nurse Jill Adams. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d405967
Cancer Council helpline nurse Jill Adams. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d405967

‘Every time the phone rings you can never know who will be on the other end,’ Ms Adams said.

‘Quite often it is a newly diagnosed patient who is feeling vulnerable, lost and incredibly upset, but then gradually over the conversation you hear the crying stop and their voice calming down.

‘The helpline is available for cancer patients, their families, friends, children, everyone.

‘We see ourselves as a bit of a compass because people come to us and we help them find all the available services like counselling, the Life Now programs, practical support and financial support.’

Almost 12,000 calls were made to the Cancer Council WA Helpline in 2012, which exceeded the previous year by more than 1000.

‘Some days are busier than others. For example, if there have been articles in the media or an event like Daffodil Day, that always increases the volume of calls to our helpline,’ Ms Adams said.

‘Having been a nurse for almost 50 years, it is very satisfying that someone can come to me quite distressed and I can give them some control or direction.’

Call the Cancer Council WA Helpline on 13 11 20.