Dr. Holland on the Stigma Toward Psychosocial Care

Dr. Jimmie Holland, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, on the Stigma Toward Psychosocial Care.

Jimmie C. Holland, MD, Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the stigma that is attached to offering or providing psychosocial care for patients with cancer.

Holland notes that the stigma toward mental health is still apparent but is diminishing. Additionally, she adds that some patients may even feel insulted due to the perceived negative meaning connected to words associated with psychology. This has made implementing psychosocial care difficult.

In general, people are beginning to realize that counseling makes sense and an entire range of alternative options exist, such as yoga, meditation, relaxation, and many other activities. Holland explains that many of these methods carry less of a stigma for patients and can be used as a substitute for traditional counseling.

If significant anxiety or depression exists medications are available to help patients cope. The range of options available to help patients deal with the distress of cancer has increased greatly in recent years.


View more from the 2012 MASCC Symposium