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Counseling and Support

Psychosocial Support for People with Sickle Cell Disease

FREE counseling services are available at the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation

Having sickle cell disease is hard. It impacts the person with sickle cell disease and their loved ones. Having sickle cell disease affects the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual parts of life. This is the psychosocial effect of sickle cell disease.

If you need help, we have experts available who understand how sickle cell disease affects a person and their loved ones. 

It is normal to need some extra help when you’re dealing with sickle cell disease. But many people who could benefit from support services don't use them because they don’t know about them or don’t know how to find them. 

One-on-one counseling might be a good option if your feelings are keeping you from doing your normal activities. In counseling, you can talk with a trained professional about your worries and concerns. Having sickle cell disease or having a loved one with sickle cell disease is a different experience for each person. Individual counseling gives you a chance to focus on your own feelings and concerns.

Counseling may also be helpful for children (ages 8+) or caregivers of a person with sickle cell disease.

Psychosocial problems may include:

  • Trouble coping with having sickle cell disease

  • Feeling apart from family and friends

  • Changes in how a family gets along and works together

  • Problems with making decisions

  • Concern about not being able to do what you enjoy

  • Problems working or going back to work

  • Worries about money

  • Concerns about school

  • Stress about making choices about care

  • Problems talking about how you are feeling

  • Grief

  • Fear of sickle cell pain coming at any time

  • Fear of death and dying

  • Concerns about being able to provide good care for a person with sickle cell disease

One-on-one counseling can help you:

  • Focus on what you are most bothered by

  • Learn ways to cope with your sickle cell disease and changes in your life

  • Deal with symptoms from your sickle cell disease and treatment

  • Figure out how to handle changes in the way the disease presents itself

  • Figure out how best to deal with family issues

  • Deal with strong feelings

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