Briefing paper

Supporting adolescent and young adult siblings of cancer patients in the education system

Education Schools

This paper highlights the needs of siblings of cancer patients and provides recommendations of supportive strategies that can be implemented by those working in the education sector.

It has been prepared by CanTeen Australia in collaboration with the Research to Practice Advisory Group.

A cancer diagnosis of a brother or sister can impact siblings in numerous areas of their lives, including their mental health and well-being, family life, behaviour, education and peer relationships.

• The education system can play an important role in ensuring the well-being of students and has the potential to create a supportive environment for siblings of cancer patients.

• Schools can implement supportive strategies such as consulting with the family, supporting school personnel, providing information to classmates and providing direct support to siblings.

• Educators in tertiary education settings have an important role to play in raising awareness of the support services available to students and identifying students who are not coping.

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