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Psychosocial rehabilitation program “Spēka Avots” (Source of Strength)

Each year more than 11 000 people in Latvia receive the diagnosis - cancer. It is a shock not only for the patient, but also for his relatives, because cancer promotes depression and social isolation. It is important to know about the support possibilities, which help to improve life quality after illness. Psychosocial rehabilitation is important for the patients and their relatives.

STATE-FUNDED ONCOLOGICAL PATIENT PSYCHOSOCIAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM
Based on Norwegian experience oncological patient association “Dzīvības koks” in cooperation with industry experts and specialists has developed a psychosocial rehabilitation program "Spēka Avots".  By 2017, 42 donation programs have been implemented and since 2018, psychosocial rehabilitation for oncology patients and their relatives has been a state-funded program implemented by the association “Dzīvības Koks”. There were 26 programs in 2018, 26 programs in 2019, 26 programs planned in 2020.

What is psychosocial rehabilitation?

Oncological disease affects different areas of life, changes the way of life, and causes physical and emotional ordeal. When active treatment is behind, people often remain alone with their thoughts, fears and uncertainty about the future. Psychosocial Rehabilitation is a set of measures that help to overcome the effects of the disease, strengthen social bonds and help the patient to return to a full life. It is a process during which the person learns to live with themselves and their diagnosis, gain strength and energy to help not only themselves, but also others.

What makes the program?

Physical activities: physiotherapy, Nordic walking, morning stretches/activities etc. activities

Expert lectures in oncology, immunology, phytotherapy, nutrition etc.

Group therapy and art therapy lead by psychologists, psychoterapists and art therapists.

Mutual support: conversations and the opportunity to be among people with similar experience.

Program types: depending from diagnosis, age, and also the program together with relatives.

Duration: six days with overnight stay and catering.

Who works and implements “Spēka Avots”?

Each program aims to make these 6 days special for people who come to find answers to questions about how to live after cancer.
Specialists participating in the program: psychotherapists, psychologists, art therapists, physiotherapists, doctors of different specialties (depending on the specialization of the program): doctor oncologist-chemotherapist, surgeon, hematologist, gynecologist, immunologist, etc., pharmacists and phytotherapists etc. In 2018, more than 60 specialists participated in the implementation of the psychosocial rehabilitation program to make each program special!

Program specialization

  • Breast and gynecological oncology in women under 50 years of age
  • Breast and gynecological oncology in women all ages
  • Oncological diseases in men all ages
  • Oncological diseases of the digestive system of men and women of all ages
  • Skin cancer and melanoma in men and women all ages
  • Haematological tumor in men and women all ages
  • Tumors of the respiratory tract, face, neck in men and women of all ages
  • Couples program, a person with an oncological illness with a relative
  • Children with oncological illness together with parents
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