Mental and Physical Health Resources
Taking care of and paying attention to your mental and physical health are important and having a CLL / SLL diagnosis or a loved one with this chronic illness can be an added challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased stressors that can lead to anxiety, depression, and isolation. Below are resources and materials on this important topic.
Diet and Exercise
- Health and Wellness: Beyond the Medicine Cabinet
A diagnosis of CLL / SLL can feel like your body is attacking itself, so what can you do in defense? Health and wellness such as physical activity, eating nutritiously, supplements, and stress reduction are important activities to help strengthen your immune system and lower your risk of additional health issues or co-morbidities.
- The Role of Diet in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Ann Liu, PhD
- Not All Plant-Based Diets Reduce Cancer Burden by Glenn Sabin
- Exploration of Diet and Gardening by Albie Suozzi
- The Impact of Diet on CLL by Glenn Sabin
- Food for thought and for health… Jay’s awesome Macrobiotic CLL adventure! by Jay Blatt
- Dr. Andrea Sitlinger on High-Intensity Interval Training for Older Adults with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
Mindfulness and Stress Reduction
- Strategies to Mindfully Address the Emotions of Cancer
- Mind Full or Mindful by Farahana Surya Namskar
- Fishing for Mindful Meditation by Dr. La Verne Abe Harris
- Self-Care through The Power of Distraction by Margo A. Calvetti
CLL and Psychological Impact
- A Psychological Perspective: Dealing with the CLL Emotional Roller Coaster
A CLL diagnosis can take you on an emotional roller coaster. CLL patients can face the stress of uncertainty, whether they are making important health decisions based on incomplete and conflicting information, or they are in “watch and wait” and experience the anxiety of inaction.
- Blood Cancer Explained, CLL Emotional Impact on Patients and Caregivers by Dr. Brian Koffman
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Disclosure 101: Who, When, and What to Say About Your Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis by Larry Marion
- What Makes Being Diagnosed with CLL So Surprising by Dr. Brian Koffman
- CLL and the Emotional Impact of Watchful Waiting by Glenn Sabin
Combatting Isolation and COVID-19 Specific
If you are not already, CLL Society encourages you to join a CLL-specific Support Group which meets virtually about once a month.
- Interview with 20-Year CLL Survivor Terry Evans about Joining Support Groups
- Support Group? Nah, Not for Me by Barbara Sperber
- Why are Men Hiding? by Peter Titlebaum
Too often caregivers can feel invisible as the patients’ physical and emotional journey is the central story, and yet caregivers are vital in addressing challenges and providing support.
Additional Mental Health Resources
Complete an Online Screening:
If you are unsure if your feelings warrant additional action, you can complete a screening below. Please note, this resource is not a diagnostic tool and mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health provider or doctor.
Reach Out and Talk to Someone:
If you need to talk to someone about your mental health and don’t feel like you can reach out to someone in your network, there are many good options.
Mental Health America has a national network of Warmlines, which are free and confidential. This is a resource you can call when not in crisis, but if you are in crisis, they can help connect you to additional resources. Please find additional information here.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides a HelpLine for anyone who needs to talk to someone about their mental health, and they can be reached by phone, email, or chat. Please find additional information here.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please find resources for both the United States and Canada below:
- In the United States
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call, Text, or Chat 988
- In Canada
- Crisis Services Canada – Call at 1-833-456-4566
- Crisis Services Canada – Send a text to 45645
If you are a United States Veteran, you can find additional mental health resources at the VA here.
Mental Health Resources from the Pharmaceutical Industry:
Pharmaceutical companies are starting to recognize the importance of providing mental health and emotional support resources to individuals impacted by a cancer diagnosis. CLL Society is proud to be listed on these websites as one of the support organizations patients and caregivers can turn to in times of need.
AstraZeneca: Mental Health Resource Hub
BeiGene: Talk About It