Macmillan Psychological Support (MaPS) team

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer and treatment can be a life-changing experience and can affect your thoughts, feelings, quality of life, relationships and your sense of who you are.

The Macmillan Psychological Support (MaPS) team offer psychological and emotional support for people with a cancer diagnosis, their families and other loved ones, at all stages of your experience with cancer.

Everyone’s experience of cancer is different, but common issues include:

  • Living with uncertainty
  • Feelings of depression, anxiety and anger
  • Coping with change and loss
  • Changes in self-esteem or sense of self
  • Coping with pain, discomfort, fatigue, and treatment side effects
  • Communicating with family, friends, or children
  • Employment, including changing jobs or stopping work
  • Coping with how cancer affects your relationships and/or sexual functioning
  • Difficulties in making decisions
  • Thinking about death and dying
  • Feeling unhappy about changes in your appearance
  • Managing the demands of life alongside cancer

Talking to someone can really help. We offer confidential sessions with a psychological therapist who can offer a range of approaches to help you.

If you feel that you might benefit from psychological therapy, please let your clinical team know. You can also email the MaPS team directly on ask for a referral via the Macmillan Advice Guidance Service.


What happens next?

Once we have received your referral, we aim to contact you by phone within a week to talk through what to expect next. If you still wish to go ahead, we will arrange to meet you in person or by telephone/video within a few weeks.

At our first session, we will find out about your experience of cancer and how we can support you. Some people find that one session is enough to help them move forward, but more often we agree on a number of sessions of talking therapy, typically around six to eight. We can work flexibly with you to fit these around other commitments, such as treatment. It is always possible to return for more sessions if these are needed in future. We can also direct you to other local support networks and services if appropriate.


Macmillan Telephone Buddies

Macmillan have a free telephone buddy service. They will match you with someone who understands what you're going through, who will give you a weekly call and be your listening ear. Find out more:


Additional information

You may also find the following resources from Macmillan useful:

Tips for managing worry, fear or anxiety [pdf]

Mind-body therapies to improve wellbeing