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Strengthening Our Schools: Cancer Support Community CNJ Provides Education and Support to the School Communities

11:25 EST 4 Dec 2019 | PR Web

Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey (CSCCNJ), a nonprofit organization located in Bedminster, NJ, understands the importance of providing support for students, as well as the school and childcare personnel with whom they spend the majority of their day. CSCCNJ recently hosted its annual Strengthening Our Schools conference at Sanofi US in Bridgewater, NJ to equip school professionals with the tools they need when a child is impacted by a cancer diagnosis either personally or through a loved one.

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (PRWEB) December 04, 2019

Today, young people are facing significant pressures, including academics, peer pressure, social media, and bullying contributing to today’s national mental health crisis. Cancer is an added stressor for a family, especially for children and adolescents. Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey (CSCCNJ), a nonprofit organization located in Bedminster, NJ, understands the importance of providing support for these vulnerable students, as well as the school and childcare personnel with whom they spend the majority of their day. CSCCNJ recently hosted its annual Strengthening Our Schools conference at Sanofi US in Bridgewater, NJ to equip school professionals with the tools they need when a child is impacted by a cancer diagnosis either personally or through a loved one.

Strengthening Our Schools is the centerpiece of CSCCNJ’s efforts to address the significant unmet needs for adolescents and teens facing a cancer diagnosis or the diagnosis/death of a family member. Every week in New Jersey, there are almost 1,000 new cases of cancer according to the American Cancer Society. This conference provides information and resources to professionals in these communities and makes them aware of the services available to their schools. CSCCNJ has been hosting this conference since 2013 and, due to its popularity, has become an annual conference.

The day included breakout sessions on topics ranging from mindfulness to transitioning pediatric cancer patients back into the school system. This variety brought together a range of professionals from social workers and nurses to teachers and child life specialists, all working with school-age children. Additionally, Lisa Athan, MA presented a plenary speech on When Students Grieve, How Schools Can Help and Sean Swarner, two-time cancer survivor and the first cancer survivor to climb the Seven Summits (the highest peak on each continent), shared his personal experiences and how to overcome the impossible.

By the end of the day, participating professionals were equipped with tools and resources to bring back to their communities to better serve the children and families impacted by a cancer diagnosis.

“What we know is that the well-being of the children is closely linked to the emotional and social health of their families,” says Katherine Schaible, LSW, Manager, Outreach and Family Programs, “By addressing the needs of the children, we can address the needs of the entire family. The school plays a key role as the bridge between the child/student’s ‘community,’ and the parents and family.”

Understanding this connection between the faculty and students, in 2014, a support group called Teens Connect began in local high schools. By working with school professionals, CSCCNJ services are leveraged to help activate school communities to support the emotional and social needs of students, especially for those affected by cancer. This school-based support model equips students with the tools and skills that they need to confront any challenge they may face in their lifetime.

Currently, CSCCNJ offers groups in seven schools, but the need is far greater. In addition to support groups, it is clear the entire community requires deeper engagement. This might include: onsite education for school faculty and community professionals; guidance and programs for parents and family members; and social and emotional support, as well as health and wellness activities for students.

The goal is to Activate, Connect, Empower, and Strengthen schools in Central and Northern NJ by normalizing discussions around cancer; delivering psychosocial interventions and programs; and connecting patients, families, and loved ones to appropriate resources and support.

“CSCCNJ will tailor our unique, replicable, hybrid model of outreach for our use in schools and school districts,” says Schaible. “Using cultural humility as a foundational construct, and guided by social work and child life, we are leveraging public health to gain a deep understanding of the cancer experience and gaps in services for children, adolescents and teens.”

For more information about School Based Support, call Katherine Schaible, LSW at 908-658-5400 x4.

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About Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey: Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey (CSCCNJ) is a registered 501c(3) and an independently licensed affiliate of Cancer Support Community, an international nonprofit organization. As experts in oncology mental health, the organization provides support, education, and hope to all people with cancer and their loved ones, so that no one faces cancer alone®. Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes social and emotional support, CSCCNJ creates a caring community to help individuals live with, through and beyond cancer. At no cost to patients, family members and caregivers, the organization delivers essential programs and services including individual and group support; educational workshops; hands-on nutrition and healthy cooking education; classes to enhance health and wellness; and social activities for the entire family. In 2019, the organization is celebrating 15 years of Community + Compassion. For more information please visit their website at cancersupportcnj.org or call (908) 658-5400.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: https://www.prweb.com/releases/strengthening_our_schools_cancer_support_community_cnj_provides_education_and_support_to_the_school_communities/prweb16752490.htm

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