Support networks can play vital role

HAVING a strong social support network can be of great benefit to overall wellbeing.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift (pictured) discusses how to build and maintain these essential relationships.

Having a social support network can help us to overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness, improving both mental and physical wellbeing.

Social relationships can even influence a person's risk of death, with some studies suggesting people with stronger social relationships have a 50% increased likelihood of survival compared to those with weaker social relationships.

What is a social support network? A social support network is made up of friends, family, colleagues and peers. A support network can play an important role in times of stress, providing an informal bond to facilitate coping and adjustment.

Peer support, on the other hand, is provided by someone who has been through a similar experience.

It helps to provide a non-threatening connection, founded on common experience, fostering a sense of understanding and optimism for the future.

Peer support can also combat feelings of isolation by connecting people in similar situations.

Those in need of cancer-related support can call Cancer Council on 13 11 20 from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm. To register your interest as a Cancer Connect support volunteer, go to http://www.cancerqld.org.au and look for "volunteer opportunities" or call the team on 1300 851 957.



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