Tip Sheets to Support You

HeadwayHealth Tip Sheets

NEW!! “Scan-xiety – Strategies to help”

Managing Stress
Looking After Yourself
When Feeling Down or Lacking Energy
Identifying Values in Life
Managing Unhelpful Thoughts
Thought Monitoring Diary
Getting a Good Nights Sleep
Enhancing Intimacy
Dealing with Hair Loss
Helping Children Adjust
Managing our Limits of Coping
Maintaining Health and Wellbeing
Accepting and Managing Offers of Help
Emotional Side Effects – The impact on those having treatment for brain cancer
Communicating Effectively with Your Care Team

My Activity Schedule


A number of tip sheets are reproduced with permission from Ausmed from Psychosocial Care of Patients: A Health Professional’s Guide to What to Say and Do – 2006, Hodgkinson K, Gilchrist J, Ausmed Pubs.

Relaxation Tools

Clinical Psychologist’s Jessica Medd and Sue Bulter have developed a series of audio recording of relaxation exercises and breathing skills to help you to learn and refine your relaxation and calming skills. We appreciate Jess and Sue’s generosity in sharing these recordings free of charge and also acknowledge Concord Repatriation General Hospital and the Sydney Cancer Centre Foundation for their assistance and funding of the production.

Track 1: A Brief Introduction to Learning Relaxation Skills (3 mins)

With thanks to Jessica Medd Senior Clinical Psychologist

Track 2:  Learning to Slow Your Breath (5 mins)

With thanks to Sue Butler Clinical Psychologist

Track 3. Breathing to Relax (7 mins)

With thanks to Sue Butler Clinical Psychologist

Track 4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Active Tense and Release (16 mins)

With thanks to Jessica Medd Senior Clinical Psychologist

Track 5. Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Passive Release (12 mins)

With thanks to Jessica Medd

Track 6. Relaxing with Guided Imagery (11 mins)

With thanks to Sue Butler Clinical Psychologist

Track 7. Relaxation Using Your Own Personal Imagery (11 mins)

With thanks to Sue Butler Clinical Psychologist

Please consider trying the different strategies offered above to see which are most helpful for you. Please remember that learning to relax and achieve a sense of calm is a skill that takes patience and practice, so take it slowly and celebrate your progress in learning.  There are many APPS and online learning tools to help you continue to learn and reinforce and expand your skill set.  Enjoy!

Online Resources & Webinars

…with contributions from our team:

“Communicating with your treatment team, children, families, and others.”  Dr Katharine Hodgkinson, Denise Firth, Ovarian Cancer Australia 2016
Open communication with those around you can often be helpful in navigating and coping with a cancer diagnosis. Dr Katharine Hodgkinson discusses communicating with your medical team and offers some strategies for discussing cancer with your family, including talking about cancer with the children in your life. Denise Firth has been living with Ovarian Cancer for years and shares her personal experience of communicating with her treatment team, family and friends. Katharine and Denise also discuss the issue of how much to share of your cancer experience with your larger network and how best to respond to comments or advice which may be hurtful or discomforting.

Webinar – “Bowel Cancer at Work: How will I Cope Going Back to Work?” Cancer Council NSW 2015. Panel Biographies : Ben Bravery, Dr Katharine Hodgkinson and Naomi Houston

Returning to work after treatment for bowel cancer presents many issues not faced by other cancers. This webinar will provide some practical information and strategies regarding how to cope and also communicate with your employer and colleagues. Click on the link to listen to the webinar.  Please note you have to register with Cancer Council NSW using this link to gain access to the webinar.


Webinar – Managing the Emotional Roller Coaster, presented by Dr Katharine Hodgkinson at a Melanoma Institute of Australia (MIA) Patient Information Day.

Before watching the video you agree to open and read MIA video disclaimer


External Resources

HWH Service Relationships

Headway Assistance Program.  Employee assistance program to support Melanoma Institute Australia, North Sydney NSW.

Preferred Psychology Service Provider, DEBRA Australia. DEBRA provides support for those living with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare disease whereby the skin blisters and peels at the slightest touch. Living wth EB is very painful, and sufferers must be bandaged every day with dressings to protect and medicate their wounds. www.debra.com.au

Preferred Psychology Service Provider, mcCR Monaro.  Telehealth support for those affected by a cancer diagnosis in the Monaro region of NSW, Monaro Committee for Cancer Research, Monaro NSW. www.mccr.org.au

Inpatient Psychology Services, rehabilitation ward services. Sydney Adventist Hospital, Wahroonga NSW. www.sah.org.au


There is a lot of information available on the internet – both helpful and unhelpful – so only search reputable sites. Information offers general suggestions only; always consult your doctor on matters that affect your health.  HeadwayHealth is based in NSW Australia so please also note that some sites are based inter-state and overseas and therefore information and services are not relevant in other contexts.  All care was taken to ensure accuracy of the links listed below at the time of compilation.

The Cancer Council information helpline on ph. 13 11 20 can direct you to relevant sites and general information for your personal situation. Some links to generic sites are offered below. Please see HeadwayHealth’s full Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.



Additional support services, resources and helplines

We wish to share the following services in case they can be of assistance.

Please reach out to helplines and crisis support services early – the services are here to support you and if you feel the service does not suit you, do reach out to another service.  If you feel you need urgent help, please contact your Lifeline 13 11 14, the 24 hour Mental Health Telephone Access line on 1800 011 511, go to your local Emergency Department or call 000 for Ambulance/Police.  

We always encourage you to seek advice and guidance from your own General Practitioner and medical care team regarding sources of information and services.  HeadwayHealth is unable to recommend resources and information; any information is provided in good faith and needs to be considered on an individual basis; see: Disclaimer – HeadWayHealth


A list of mental health services has been generated for help during the pandemic: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Factsheets/covid-19-accessing-mental-health.pdf

Online programs Online self-paced treatment programs and courses for a range of presenting concerns and issues.

·        This Way Up https://thiswayup.org.au/ There are programs comprising evidence based strategies for a range of presenting concerns including depression, generalised anxiety/worry, social anxiety, health anxiety, panic, OCD, PTSD, perinatal anxiety and depression, stress management, insomnia and student and study wellbeing.

·        Mindspot https://www.mindspot.org.au/ There are programs comprising evidence based strategies for a range of presenting concerns including anxiety and worry, depression, OCD, PTSD, chronic pain, chronic physical health conditions and substance use. They also offer an Indigenous wellbeing course.

·        myCompass by Black Dog Institute https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/resources-support/digital-tools-apps/mycompass/ Provides a personalised experience that best matches your needs which includes evidence based strategies for those experiencing mild-to-moderate anxiety, depression and/or stress. There are also specific online learning activities for people living with diabetes, and for men experiencing mild-to-moderate depression.

·        Centre for Clinical Interventions https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself Provides a range of information resources, as well as self-help treatment modules for a variety of presenting concerns including: anxiety disorders such as health anxiety, social anxiety, generalised anxiety/worry and panic; mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder; disordered eating; body dysmorphia; as well as perfectionism, procrastination and self esteem concerns.

·        iCanADAPT https://icanadapt.adaptcancer.org.au/ iCanADAPT is funded by the Cancer Institute NSW, and is administered by the Psycho-Oncology Co-Operative Research Group (PoCoG) at the University of Sydney. Includes two online programs to manage anxiety and depression through cancer treatment and beyond. The iCanADAPT Early program is intended for people who have been recently diagnosed with a new early cancer or a small cancer or tumour that has not spread to other parts of the body. The iCanADAPT Advanced course is intended for people who have been recently diagnosed with advanced cancer (when cancer has spread from its original site or has come back).

·        Finding My Way https://findingmyway.org.au/ Finding My Way was developed as part of a research study funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, and is now publicly available with support from the Flinders Foundation. Finding My Way is an online self-help coping program that offers information, suggestions, and support for women and men who have recently been diagnosed with a cancer being treated with the aim of cure.

Information websites:

·        https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/#guided-meditations

Includes information, guided meditations and exercises regarding self compassion

·        https://www.actmindfully.com.au/free-stuff/

Includes information, resources and recordings of mindfulness exercises based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

·       http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au Black Dog Institute – mental health information

·       http://www.headtohealth.gov.au Head to Health – resource hub on mental health services

Cancer specific websites and organisations: 

·        https://www.cancer.org.au/ Provides helpful information and education, information about support and services available, as well as various resources and support for those affected by cancer

·        https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-information/downloadable-resources: This link includes an extensive list of downloadable fact sheets about all things cancer.

·        https://www.cancer.org.au/online-resources/podcasts: this link includes a list of online resources including podcasts and relaxation and meditation recordings.

·        https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/ Australian Government Cancer Australia includes information and resources.

·        https://www.canteen.org.au/  Canteen Australia

·        https://pankind.org.au/ The Australian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation

·        https://www.leukaemia.org.au/ Leukemia Foundation

·        https://www.lymphoma.org.au/ Lymphoma Australia

·        https://www.headandneckcancer.org.au/ Head and Neck Cancer Australia

·        https://gicancer.org.au/ Gastro-intestinal (GI) Cancer Australia

·        https://www.pancare.org.au/ PanCare Foundation. PanSupport is Pancare Foundation’s dedicated support, resource and information service available for all affected by upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, such as pancreatic, liver, stomach, biliary and oesophageal cancers.

·        https://melanoma.org.au/ Melanoma Institute Australia

·        https://www.australianskincancerfoundation.org/ Australian Skin Cancer Foundation

·        https://sarcoma.org.au/ Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association

·        https://kidney.org.au/   Kidney Health Australia. Provides information, resources and support for those affected by kidney disease and kidney cancer

·        https://lungfoundation.com.au/patients-carers/conditions/lung-cancer/overview/ Lung Foundation Australia

·        https://www.bcna.org.au/ Breast Cancer Network Australia

·        https://www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au/get-support/other-breast-care-services/ McGrath Foundation

·        https://www.prostate.org.au/ Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

·        https://accf.org.au/ Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation

·        https://www.ovariancancer.net.au/ Ovarian Cancer Australia

·        https://agcf.org.au/ Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation

·        https://www.btaa.org.au/ Brain Tumour Alliance Australia

·        https://www.beatbladdercanceraustralia.org.au/ Beat Bladder Cancer Australia

·        https://www.bowelcanceraustralia.org/ Bowel Cancer Australia

·        https://neuroendocrine.org.au/ Neuroendocrine Cancer Australia

·        https://myeloma.org.au/ Myeloma Australia

·        https://www.rarecancers.org.au/ Rare Cancers Australia

·        https://mummyswish.org.au/ Mummy’s Wish- practical support for young mums with cancer.


·        The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living by Russ Harris

·        The Reality Slap: How to Survive and Thrive When Life Hits Hard by Russ Harris

·        Reinventing Your Life: How to Break Free from Negative Life Patterns and Feel Good Again by Jeffrey Young and Janet Klosko

·        The Cancer Companion: How to Navigate Your Way from Diagnosis to Treatment and Beyond by Toni Lindsay

Phone APPS

·        Calm

·        Smiling Mind

·        Headspace

·        Insight timer

·        Finch: Self Care Widget Pet

·        ACT Companion: The Happiness Trap App

·        Moodkit

·       Balance

·        Better Stop Suicide

·        iBreathe

·        Mindshift CBT

·        MoodMission

·        Happify

·        I Am Sober

·        Mira: Trauma and PTSD Support

·        PTSD Coach Australia

Crisis, information and mental health counselling support lines

·        NSW Mental Health Access Line A NSW 24/7 line staffed by mental health professionals who are able to provide expert mental health advice, support and referrals for people dealing with a mental health problem and their family and carers. Phone: 1800 011 511 (24/7)

·        Lifeline – A national 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention line staffed by trained volunteer crisis supporters. Phone: 13 11 14 (24/7); Text: 0477 13 11 14 (24/7)’ Online chat service available 24/7: https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat/

·        Beyond Blue – A national 24/7 mental health and emotional support line staffed by counsellors. Phone: 1300 22 4636 (24/7). Online chat service available 24/7: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/support-service/chat

·        Suicide Call Back Service – A national 24/7 telephone counselling support line to people at risk of suicide, concerned about someone at risk, bereaved by suicide and people experiencing emotional or mental health issues. Phone: 1300 659 467 (24/7). An online chat and video counselling service available 24/7: https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/phone-and-online-counselling/

·        Cancer Council – A national cancer information and support line where you can speak to trained staff who are available to answer questions about cancer and offer emotional and practical support, as well as information and resources. Open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.  Phone: 13 11 20

·        1800RESPECT – A national 24/7 line providing counselling support for people who has experienced or isa t risk of sexual assault, family and domestic violence. Phone: 1800 737 732. Online chat service available: https://www.1800respect.org.au/

·        MensLine  A national 4/7 line providing counselling support to men, staffed by trained and qualified counsellors. Phone: 1300 78 99 78. Online chat service available 24/7: https://mensline.org.au/phone-and-online-counselling/

·        Kids Help Line A national 24/7 counselling service for children and young people aged between 5 and 25. Phone: 1800 551 800 Online chat service available 24/7: https://kidshelpline.com.au/get-help/webchat-counselling

·        Elder Abuse Help Line A national free information and support services for people who experience or witness the abuse of an older person. Operating hours vary. Phone: 1800 353 374

·        Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW  A 24/7 free counselling helpline for NSW residents with concerns around alcohol and drug/misuse staffed by professional counsellors who provide education, information, counselling, support and referrals to other appropriate services in NSW. Phone: 1800 250 015 (24/7); online chat service available 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday (including public holidays): https://yourroom.health.nsw.gov.au/getting-help/Pages/ADIS-Web-Chat.aspx

·        13YARN A 24/7 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander national crisis support line staffed by Lifeline-trained Aboriginal and Torres Strat Islander crisis supporters. Phone: 13 92 76 (24/7)