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Cancer Care Team Mental Health: Normalizing Helpers Seeking Help — [PODCAST] EP 114

May 25, 2023

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Members of the multidisciplinary cancer care team—and cancer program leadership—recognize the importance of taking care of one’s own mental health to be able to provide the best possible care to patients. Yet, many care team members are hesitant to share sensitive information and/or ask for support. Breaking down the social stigma that is often still associated with seeking mental health services is key to making cancer care clinicians and staff feel a “sense of safety” and that they will not be penalized for accessing mental health services. Normalizing the conversation around mental health is critical to developing this sense of safety and culture of caring.


Christine Cha

Christine Cha, MD
Radiation Oncologist
System Medical Director Cancer Service Line
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, St. Joseph Cancer Center


Tricia Wooden, MD
System Medical Director, Provider and Caregiver Wellness
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, St. Joseph Cancer Center


“First of all, we have to acknowledge that oncologists are human—just like their patients...Everyone benefits from good mental health. And just like physical health, you have to take care of your mental health…Speaking as someone who has experienced depression and burnout out in an earlier part of my career, it is really important to understand that you are not alone and that there are resources that are aimed to help you.”

“Helping clinicians understand where their power is and helping them to feel better has wide-reaching implications on the care of our patients and the way they [clinicians] show up and function in our care teams…It is really difficult, as a non-clinician, to work for a clinician who is experiencing mental health issues and burnout. To some degree, we need to address the well-being of our clinicians first as we start to help to improve the whole health of the care team.”

Read more in ACCC’s Call to Action: Delivery of Psychosocial Care in Oncology Summit.

Thank you to BeiGene, USA for supporting this important work.



The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s)/faculty member(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of their employer(s) or the Association of Community Cancer Centers.