The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW convened the forum to hear from patients and health workers about what works in providing locally led support programs for people with cancer and their families. It was also an opportunity to learn what resources, training and support are needed to support Aboriginal people living with cancer and to strengthen locally led cancer support networks in NSW.
- Through sharing personal stories, participants of the forum were able to talk about how cancer affected their lives, and the importance of things such as traditional healing practices, yarning circles and cultural advocacy is to their recovery and comfort during their illness.
- Workshop participants talked about the services that are available in their areas, as well as those that are lacking. Discussions revealed inequities between communities in their access to health and other services, including transport services for patients.
- Dr Suzanne Moore told the Forum that routine screening for psychosocial problems may lead to better patient outcomes, improve quality of service delivery, and decrease health care costs.
- The importance of social media was also addressed, as it enables community engagement and the creative development and sharing of health promotion messages.
- Participants stressed the importance of respecting men’s business and women’s business in cancer-related activities, and the need for a greater focus on men’s health.