Pilla 4, UPATRAS

Pillar 4 - Mental and Physical Health Information About Tools developed by the University of Patras

Pillar 4 - Mental and Physical Health Information About Tools developed by the University of Patras
The team: 
  • Apostolos Vantarakis: Prof. in Public Health, Director of Postgraduate Course "Public Health", Public Health Laboratory, Medical School, University of Patras, Greece
  • Zoi Asimakopoulou: Psychologist and Research Assistant at the University of Patras
  • Maria Vasilopoulou: Psychologist and Research Assistant at the University of Patras
  • Ioanna Viha: Head Nurse in Oncology Division, University Hospital of Patras
  • Joanna Velissari: Specialized Oncology Nurse, University Hospital of Patras
  • Marina Rizogianni: Journalist and Editor-in-Chief newspaper PELOPONNISOS 

What to read first: 

Overview of Tools Developed by the University of Patras
This section is dedicated to Physical and Mental Wellbeing, the fourth pillar of a heathy lifestyle within the OACCUs project. Our goal was to create a selection of educational tools for young cancer survivors, their families, and friends as well as anyone interested in learning more about the intersection between physical activity and mental health.  
Taking into consideration the importance of having a solid starting point, our team at the University of Patras created the section “Psychoeducation” in which the reader can discover important information about active community cancer centers within Greece, a guide about finding reliable data online and worksheets to boost their skills in Assertive Communication and Decision Making. This section concludes with some indicative questions that were designed specifically for health care professionals. 

Delving deeper into our diverse psychological needs, we developed sections where the readers can enhance their emotional wellbeing through meditation and relaxation exercises or though the practice of yoga and suggest ways to minimize emotional distress (i.e., worksheets for stopping negative thoughts). The role of identity during the experience of cancer and the changes young cancer survivors are confronted with both on an emotional and on a physical level (i.e., issues with body image and sexuality) are being discussed within this pillar too. 

The use of personal stories can act as a guiding light for other people facing similar challenges, for this reason our team at the University of Patras collaborated with various people with either direct cancer experience (i.e., video of Konstantinos) or indirect involvement as health care professionals (i.e., videos with oncology nurses). Our vision when creating this set of tools was to share knowledge and expertise while providing support to individuals with a cancer experience, thus a series of podcasts was built with various topics focusing on different aspects of life after treatment (QA, psychological support, diet and physical activity, sexuality and fertility as well as returning to work after treatment). 

We hope you find this set of tools interesting and helpful and that they guide you towards a healthier lifestyle one that gives your life more light and joy! 

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.