We provide professional consultation services to professionals working with youth and families who are seeking cancer-related information, guidance, resources or programming ideas. Healing Tree counselors are available for classroom presentations to support youth who are being impacted by the disease. Such presentations are encouraged when a child feels the need to be secretive about his/her situation and this is negatively affecting him/her, or if bullying occurs. In-classroom topics may include cancer education specific to the child’s experience and how classmates can offer compassion and support.
Educational presentations are available for community members, organizations, schools and businesses seeking information about cancer, resources and the psycho-social needs of children, adolescents and families impacted by cancer. Our Cancer Health Outreach Educator is also available for health and wellness fairs and offers cancer education and prevention presentations to any age or group. For more information please contact Maureen Higgins, LCSW.
For many youth and families, becoming involved in a greater cause can be an empowering, healing and joyful experience.The Positive Tracks program of the Dempsey Challenge provides an opportunity for any youth age 23 or under a chance to participate in fundraising for the Dempsey Center to keep cancer support services at no cost. If you are interested in fundraising or starting your own Positive Tracks team, contact Fundraising Coordinator Tish Caldwell.
Through a partnership with the Lewiston-Auburn YMCA, the Dempsey Center is able to offer a short term solution for families who struggle to attend their cancer-related appointments due to a lack of childcare. Scheduled childcare is available to families who are attending a cancer-related class or appointment at St. Mary’s, Central Maine Medical Center, or the Dempsey Center. Interested families should speak with a Dempsey Center Youth and Family counselor or their oncology social worker for more information on how to register.
Resource Bags are designed for any youth impacted by cancer created by the youth on their first visit to the Healing Tree program and is tailored to their age and gender. Items selected may offer cancer education, encourage positive coping skills, provide opportunities for bonding with the sick loved one, and/or comfort.
To help with questions you may have about communicating about cancer with the young people in your life, the Healing Tree has compiled suggestions and advice from experts in the fields of child life, mental health, and oncology. Providing open and honest information as early as possible will help your child or adolescent to feel safe and involved and will establish the trust he/she will need to deal with unavoidable stress now and in the future.
You may find it helpful to borrow books from our lending library, which includes books for different ages on cancer and changes in the family. We also have educational parenting books available for adults and caregivers who are supporting youth through this experience.
Please note that not all books and resources are appropriate for all ages or experiences. Recommendations from a Healing Tree counselor are available upon request.