New mindfulness support offered to people who have had cancer treatment

Date published: 14 May 2024

People in the Rochdale borough who have recently completed cancer treatment are being offered a specialised mindfulness course to help with the emotional and psychological side of the disease.

The dedicated course is run by NHS Heywood, Middleton, and Rochdale talking therapies, provided by The Big Life group in partnership with Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, and is aimed at supporting people with their emotional and mental wellbeing after a diagnosis.

It’s common to experience issues immediately following diagnosis, during or after treatment, including emotional stress related to worrying about the future.

People who’ve completed intensive cancer treatment, (such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy) can now book a place on an eight-week mindfulness group.

Mindfulness is about being in the present moment. It’s been shown to reduce stress, worry and over-thinking, improve sleep and fatigue, and help people feel more fulfilled. Previous participants have praised the programme, with comments including:

“It’s helped me turn the corner and get on with the rest of my life. I want to live in the now and not in the past. I want to help myself.”

“Before this I was very stressed, angry with myself and full of feelings of guilt. I feel much calmer and more able to cope. I sleep so much better than I did before, which is such a positive thing for me.”

“Even though I know things are not going to improve much, I now feel that I can go forward rather than be angry and upset all the time.”

Clinical lead Sharon Edwards said: “Studies have shown mindfulness can be really beneficial for people affected by cancer. And the benefits are supported by the positive feedback we’ve received from past group members.

“Please do get in touch if you’re living with cancer and have recently completed treatment. We’re a friendly bunch and are here to help.”

The program will run from 11 June to 30 July 2024 at a local health centre. A small group of about eight people, will meet for a two-hour session every week. They’ll learn mindfulness practices and techniques, take part in meditation and therapy exercises and benefit from peer support through group discussions.

They’ll also be encouraged to practice their new skills at home, supported by CDs, downloadable guides, and a handbook.

People can self-refer online by visiting (specifying “mindfulness cancer programme” in the reason for referral box) or phoning the service on 01706 619020.

While this course isn’t suitable for people with a recent cancer diagnosis, other types of mental health support is available.

For more information they can visit

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