Portrait of Steve and Karen Chubon

New Mental Health Services for Cancer Patients

In addition to the physical and medical challenges experienced by patients, a cancer diagnosis brings many strong emotions. For some, this emotional upheaval and stress can progress further, with nearly one in four cancer patients experiencing depression. That is why it is critical for patients to have access to increased emotional support resources.

The Hearst Cancer Resource Center (HCRC) at French Hospital has long offered support groups and patient navigation services, but a gap in mental health services for cancer patients still existed until recently. Thanks to longtime HCRC supporters Steve and Karen Chubon, the HCRC is now filling that gap with the addition of a dedicated Social Worker. The new HCRC Social Worker, Lauren Jermstad, LCSW, has the expertise needed to better support each patient’s emotional and mental health concerns, connecting them with the resources that will benefit them most.

As a volunteer at the HCRC, Karen has seen firsthand the emotional distress that cancer patients experience. Karen and Steve were also impacted by Karen’s mother’s cancer journey, which originally inspired their involvement with the HCRC.

“I saw the emotional impact cancer had on my mother and also saw her initial hesitation to attend support groups over concern of how it looked to others,” says Karen. “But once she joined one, she saw the tremendous benefits.”

“Everyone thinks about the physical implications of a cancer diagnosis, but there is a tremendous emotional turmoil as well,” says Steve. “By enhancing mental health services, the HCRC will be able to help connect cancer patients with more of the resources they need in one place.”

By helping to make mental health services more easily accessible, the Chubons hope that more HCRC patients will get the additional emotional support they need.

HCRC programs and services are offered free of charge, thanks to the support of donors like the Chubons and community members like you.

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