Psychosocial Care

​​Psychosocial oncology focuses on a whole-person approach to cancer care, addressing the social, psychological, emotional, spiritual and functional aspects of the patient journey.   There is strong evidence that emotional distress in cancer is prevalent, associated with poor health outcomes/increased health care utilization, and is amenable to intervention, emotional support.  

The following information provides suggestions about resources that address this aspect of the patient experience, support patients and their families through their journey and enhance quality of life.

Guidance for Health Care Professionals

Considering the Psychosocial needs of patients through the cancer continuum is essential.  The Psychosocial Oncology Program provides guidance for health care professionals, including recommended screening tools.

Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario)​ has produced several evidence based guidelines.

  • Interventions to Address Sexual Problems in People with Cancer
  • Exercise for People with Cancer
  • Follow-up Care and Psychosocial Needs of Survivors of Prostate Cancer
  • The Management of Depression in Patients with Cancer  Guideline

Find these guidelines at:

Recommendations for the Delivery of Psychosocial Oncology Services in Ontario. This document provides recommendations around the components of psychosocial oncology services and providers across a Regional Cancer Program. The recommendations were developed via an evidence based, consensus driven process, with a group of internal and external stakeholders from all over the country.

This report is a follow up to the 2010 PEBC Guideline Psychosocial Health Care for Cancer Patients and Their Families and it addresses one of the recommendations of the Auditor General of Ontario -  to establish provincial standards for the delivery of psychosocial services.

Resources for Health Care Professionals

Exercise and Rehabilitation programs for Persons Living with Cancer (Toronto area)

Supporting Parents to Help Children Coping with Cancer in the Family

Information to Help With Providing Patient Education and Support

Resources for Patients & Families

Understanding Cancer

Coping With Cancer

Information about Palliative Care

  • Canadian Virtual Hospice is website designed to provide support and personalized information about palliative and end-of-life care to patients, family members, health care providers, researchers and educators.

Support for Family Caregivers

  • Caregiver College (Alberta Health Services) is a virtual college dedicated to providing courses to enhance the knowledge and skills of caregivers to provide for their family member.
  • Caregiving A US based website with practical information

Talking to Children About Cancer

For Children with a Dying Parent

Support Programs in Toronto

  • WELLSPRING Wellspring is a network of community-based support centres offering programs and services that meet the emotional, social, practical and restorative needs of people living with cancer and those who care for them. Wellspring programs are offered free of charge.
  • GILDA'S CLUB OF GREATER TORONTO Gilda's Club is a place where anyone touched by cancer - adults, children and teens as well as their families & friends become part of a welcoming community of support.  An array of programs designed to meet the emotional, social & practical needs of anyone affected by cancer are a complement to medical treatments.  Membership and all programs are offered at no charge.
  • CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY SUPPORT SERVICES The Canadian Cancer Society provides free support and information to anyone affected by cancer, or at high risk.