Mental Health and Cancer Coaching
In the category of “special interests I never thought I’d have” I’m incredibly passionate about breast cancer awareness and offering support for young women who experience are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Cancer is a big, scary word and when I was diagnosed with it at the age of 26, I felt completely alone. All of the women I knew who had been through treatment were much older than me and all of the literature around the topic was aimed at women in a very different place in their lives - usually with families, established careers and long lasting relationships. I felt excluded from the conversation - so I decided to create my own and began blogging about my experience on alicemaypurkiss.co.uk. I blogged my way through 10 (or maybe 9? I’ve lost count) surgeries, 6 sessions of chemotherapy and 15 sessions of radiotherapy. I blogged about hairloss, infertility, snot, tears, laughs, fears and much, much more.
About a week after I finished my treatment in early 2016, I came up with the idea for a book about mental health and breast cancer, and how the two go together. I published that book in early 2019, and thus began talking about mental health more openly and more regularly. With 1 in 4 people likely to experience some kind of mental health problem in their lifetimes, I believe it is crucial to sow the seeds of conversation about these issues in every day life, let people know they’re not alone, signpost them to support where relevant and offer them whatever support they need to get back on their feet. I have lived with depression and anxiety for most of my adult life and am passionate about helping people deal with being in or on the edge of The Dark Place.
I know all too well the impact cancer can have on your mental health. In 2019, I will be launching coaching sessions for anyone affected by cancer and/or volatile mental health to help guide them through the tricky curveballs life sometimes throws our way. These sessions will combine my own experiences with proven tools for looking after yourself while recovering from a cancer diagnosis or experiencing mental health difficulties, along with methods, tips and tricks that I have found particularly useful. There will be the opportunity for group sessions and 1:1 sessions. I will also be launching my “Finding Your Voice - Writing Through Trauma” courses later this year too. Watch this space