Youth Cancer Europe’s Jaymz Goodman, from the UK, is the main subject of an article in The Sun that puts the mental health impact of cancer in the spotlight. Jaymz’s story is an insightful read that shows just why YCE continues to be strongly outspoken about the attention needed towards mental health care for young people living with cancer, as highlighted in our White Paper and as discussed at length at our recent “Chemo Brain: Cancer and Mental Health” webinar.
Jaymz tells The Sun about the struggle he went through on his way back to normal life – battling PTSD while going back to work and trying to rediscover the joy of life that he felt was given to him as a second opportunity. As he puts it, “there is an unbelievable need for mental health support once you’re out of the cancer bubble”.
Soon the day to day grind became too much for Jaymz and he said his mum started to notice his mood had changed. “I wasn’t showering, wasn’t waking up at a normal time, wasn’t eating much. I was basically wallowing in self pity and trying to figure out what to do.” Jaymz said he was assigned a counsellor but the expert wasn’t a cancer specialist. He highlighted that he was lucky enough to receive private help through his mum’s insurance, but said that he knows not everyone is lucky enough to be able to access this and that even with private help it was hard for him to come to terms with how he felt.
Youth Cancer Europe was featured as one of the leading community voices calling for equal access to be made available to all.
Jaymz said more mental help and guidance should be given to youngsters who are dealing with cancer and is working with Youth Cancer Europe for equal access to quality treatment and follow-up care for young people living with cancer.
Jaymz finished treatment two years ago and in December he would have been in remission for five years. He added that once he was out of the “cancer bubble”, where you have consultants checking you over weekly, and found those tremendous waiting times for post treatment mental health care, he felt like he had “totally fallen out of the system”.
Jaymz added: “Much more needs to be done and I am just lucky that I was in a situation where I could access private mental health care.
“Many are not as lucky as I have been, and so many suffer much more as a result”, he added.
We are proud to continue helping to shed light on the mental health burden of cancer – both through Jaymz’s story and the voices of our wider community. A big thank you to The Sun for the opportunity to be featured in this article, which you can read in full here.