Funded by Parkinson’s UK, the sessions enable people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s – and their families – to talk through their concerns with the hospice’s experienced counsellors.
Referrals to the service are available to individuals at any stage of their illness to help them address and understand their thoughts and feelings associated with the diagnosis.
Research published this week by Parkinson’s UK found that nearly two fifths of people with Parkinson’s have felt the need to hide their symptoms or lie about having the condition.
The research also highlighted the emotional impact of a diagnosis – with many reporting feeling ‘like their world had ended’, ‘like they were grieving’ or ‘like they didn’t know who to turn to’.
“As well as the physical effects of an illness, there can be emotionally and psychologically effects for both patients and their family,” explained hospice CEO Julie Ferry.
“These sessions have the potential to help people address feelings and thoughts associated with their diagnosis.
“This partnership with Parkinson’s UK has meant we are able to support additional patients who can benefit from specialist counsellors who are trained to support people affected by life-limiting and life-changing medical conditions.”
Ferry adds that, through holding counselling sessions at the hospice, they can also share information about the whole range of services the hospice provides for patients and their families.
Philip Thompson, chair of the Barnsley and District Branch of Parkinson’s UK, added: “The counselling service provided by the hospice fills a gap in the support services we provide for our members. We are delighted to have access to this much needed facility.”
You can find out more about Barnsley Hospice on the charity’s website, or more about Parkinson’s Awareness Week (which runs from 18 to 24 April 2016) on the Parkinson’s UK website.